The administrator of the Panama Canal, Dr. Ricaurte Vásquez Morales, will participate in the United Nations Water Conference to be held in New York City, as part of the activities made to raise awareness of the organization ‘s strategies to guarantee the resource ‘s availability for the next 50 years, and the commitment and efforts made by the Canal to manage the water resource sustainability.

This conference, attended by world leaders, government ministers, and environmental organizations representing the countries invited, will start on Wednesday March 22nd , World Water Day. This space will be favorable to hold a “bold water action agenda, which gives this vital element of our planet the commitment it deserves”, according to the United Nations.

“The Panama Canal, which operates using fresh water, is a critical connection point in global supply chains. It is also the only canal which, in addition to having to guarantee its daily operations, has the responsibility of managing the availability of enough fresh water supply for 50% of Panama’s national population. For this reason, proper management of the water supply is strategically important for the Canal’s administration and makes the Panama Canal Authority a leading voice on the matter. For the Canal, it is not enough to be a strategic corridor for global commerce, we are also committed to being a world leader in sustainable connectivity,” the administrator says.

On this matter, the Global Commission on the Economics of Water published a report stating that in 2030, the global demand for freshwater will exceed its supply by 40%. The report also urges comprehensive review of water use around the world and calls for water to be managed for the general good, since most countries depend in some way on their neighbors for their water supply.

Administrator Vásquez asserts that in Panama, “Climate change is a fundamental issue, particularly due to the fact that our economy is directly tied to the availability of water.” The administrator asserts that water management is increasingly recognized as a key element in climate change adaptation, and the Panama Canal is a fundamental leader in this effort.

“We have a solid environmental plan in place that protects the hydrographic basin,” Vásquez explains. “This strategy includes working closely with the residents who live closest to the Canal whom we support through programs designed to develop environmentally sustainable socioeconomic activities. This ensures that our citizens can effectively champion the protection of water resources,” Administrator Vásquez explained.