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Panama Canal expects new water reservoir for ship crossings in 6 years

The Panama Canal expects to complete a billion-dollar construction of a new water reservoir within six years that will help ensure the passage of 36 ships a day, the administrator of the global waterway said on Monday.

The Indio River reservoir project would become part of the network of existing artificial lakes that allow for safe passage through the canal and provide water forhuman consumption.

“Weare looking at six years,” canal administrator Ricaurte Vasquez said.

Vasquez said the project “would provide a little more certainty to maintain 36 transits per day, a higher level of reliability for the route.”

Last month, the Panama Canal said after recent rains boosted water levels, it would increase the total number of available slots in both Neopanamax and Panamax locks to 35 slots after Aug. 5.

Increased rainfall in recent months has allowed the canal, the world’s second-largest, to replenish its watershed, leading to an increase in transits that had been severely restricted last year amid a drought.

Ricuarte estimated the project would cost around $1.2 billion, plus an additional $400 million in investments in neighboring communities.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Elida Moreno; Editing by Chris Reese)

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