Panama Canal Administrator, Ricaurte Vásquez Morales, participated in the United Nations (UN) Water Conference held in New York, United States.
This was part of the activities developed to make visible the organization’s strategies to guarantee the availability of this resource for the next 50 years, as well as the Canal’s commitment and efforts to manage the water resource in a sustainable manner.
This summit, which was attended by world leaders, governors, ministers, and officials from various countries, was inaugurated on March 22, World Water Day.
The moment was propitious to give rise to a “bold action agenda for water, which gives this vital element of our planet the commitment it deserves,” according to the UN.
“The Panama Canal, which runs on freshwater, is a critical connection point in global supply chains” stated Administrator Vasquez.
“Also, it is the only canal that, in addition to guaranteeing its daily operation, has the responsibility of keeping water available to supply more than 50% of the national population. Therefore, the handling and management of water resources is a strategic issue for us, and this experience makes us an international benchmark in this area. For the Canal, it is not enough to be a strategic step in the service of world trade; our commitment lies in being world leaders in sustainable connectivity,” he added.
On the eve of the UN Summit, the World Commission on the Economics of Water published a report in which it points out that by 2030, global demand for freshwater will exceed supply by 40%.
The authors of the report call for a review of water use practices around the world. The study assures that the issue of this resource must begin to be managed as a global common good, since most countries depend, to some extent, on their neighbors for water supply.
Vásquez mentioned that Panama “is an economy whose success is directly related to the availability of water and, therefore, climate change is a major issue for the country”.
The Canal Administrator assured that the management and handling of water resources is increasingly being recognized as one of the key elements for adapting to climate change, and the Canal is a fundamental actor in the efforts being made in this direction.
“We have a robust socio-environmental plan for the protection of the Panama Canal Watershed, which includes the participation of the inhabitants of this region, whom we support so that they can optimize their productive activities, so that they are environmentally friendly, improve their quality of life and become guardians of these areas and, at the same time, of the water resource,” explained Vásquez.
About the Panama Canal Authority (ACP)
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) is an autonomous legal entity of the Republic of Panama in charge of the operation, administration, management, preservation, maintenance, and modernization of the Panama Canal, as well as its activities and related services, so that the Canal may operate in a safe, continuous, efficient manner. For more information, please refer to the ACP’s website: http://www.pancanal.com or follow us on Twitter @thepanamacanal.