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June water levels in Panama Canal below average for last 65 years

Panama containership
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has announced it is again postponing a planned reduction, however, water levels remain below the average for last 65 years as climate change impacts the key waterway.

The ACP has postponed the reduction of the maximum authorised draught of 13.11m (43.0 feet) Tropical Fresh Water (TFW) for vessels transiting the neo-panamax locks and 11.73m (38.5 feet) TFW for vessels transiting the panamax locks, scheduled to become effective 3 July 2019 until 16 July 2019.

Therefore, the maximum authorised draught allowed of 13.41m (44.0 feet) TFW for vessels transiting the Neopanamax locks and 12.04m (39.5 feet) TFW for vessels transiting the Panamax locks will remain in effect until 15 July 2019.

“Although the weather may change from one day to another and rainfalls have been pouring in recent weeks, we are still under the usual average for the month of June,” ACP Administrator Jorge Quijano told Seatrade Maritime News.

“The level of water is not sufficient and under the average level of the past 65 years,” he said explaining that the Canal Authority has been monitoring water levels since 105 years.

‘We can say this is the climate change effect as of today.”

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