Panama Canal Watershed Experiment- Agua Salud Project
The Agua Salud Project utilizes the Panama Canal’s (Canal) central role in world commerce to focus global attention on the ecosystem services provided by tropical forests.
The Canal was one of the great engineering projects in the world. Completed in 1914, after almost a decade of concerted effort, its 80 km length greatly shortened the voyage between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. An entire
class of ships, the Panamax, has been constructed to maximize the amount of cargo that can be carried in a Canal passage. In today’s parlance, the Canal is a “green” operation, powered largely by water (Table 1). The locks,
three pairs on each end with a net lift of 27 meters, are gravity fed. For each ton of cargo that is transferred from ocean to ocean, about 13 tons of water (m3) are used. Lake Gatún forms much of the waterway in the Canal
transect. Hydroelectricity is generated at the Gatún dam, whenever there is surplus water, and at Madden Dam (completed in 1936) when water is transferred from Lake Alhajuela to Lake Gatún. The Canal watershed is the
source of drinking water for Panama City and Colon City, at either end of the Canal, and numerous towns in between.
|Panama Canal Watershed Experiment- Agua Salud Project
|Robert F. Stallard, Fred L. Ogden, Helmut Elsenbeer, Jefferson S. Hall
|Water Resources Impact
|USGS Publications Warehouse
|National Research Program - Central Branch