The Panama Canal signed a contract with the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) for consulting and technical advisory services for the Water Projects Program, the objective of which is to achieve an optimized water management system, focused on supplying this resource to the population and the waterway.
Last June, the Canal reformulated the tender model for the construction and start-up of the optimized water management system, in response to the suggestions presented by interested companies during the prequalification process.
The program consists of a portfolio of projects that will provide a solution to the supply of raw water for more than half of the country’s population concentrated in the provinces of Panama, Colón and Panama Oeste, as well as for the operation of the Canal, considering the development sustainability, climate scenarios and growth projections.
USACE will provide special services for the review of the studies carried out, as well as the identification and performance of those required to evaluate possible alternatives, develop models and simulations, and prepare conceptual designs, among other program activities.
USACE and the Panama Canal
In 2019, both entities signed a cooperation and technical assistance agreement for the development of engineering services, environmental sustainability, operation, disaster damage reduction, and risk analysis for the integrated management of water resources, among other activities.
USACE has detailed knowledge and information on the hydrology and operation of the Panama Canal. In 1997, he developed a study of the infrastructure of the Panama Canal, prior to its transfer to Panamanian hands, which allowed the formulation of a master plan that identified more than 800 tasks that needed to be carried out to transfer it to the Panamanian administration under the appropriate conditions.
Since then, it has participated in the analysis, maintenance and improvements of the waterway, accumulating experiences and knowledge that are strategic for the program, including evaluation projects on water supply alternatives to meet the Canal’s operational needs and participation in the conceptual design of the third set of locks in the Atlantic, among others.
USACE provides technical assistance in more than 100 countries around the world, including the maintenance of more than 700 dams, 24,000 kilometers of levees, 21,000 kilometers of ports and canals, and 240 locks in the United States, where it is responsible for the maintenance of river hydraulic structures. , mainly.
By constitutional mandate, the Panama Canal is responsible for ensuring the administration, maintenance, use and conservation of the water resources of its hydrographic basin, within which are the Gatún and Alhajuela reservoirs, the main sources of water for the population. of the country and the transit of ships.
The Water Projects Program is aimed at guaranteeing sustainable development and long-term business viability.