Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Moderator_02

Climate Change And Canal Operations

Recommended Posts

Quote

OPINION: A path to permanent drought

drought-1.jpg
 
Posted 01/03/2019
 
The Panama Canal Authority has announced that it will decrease the draft of the ships that transit through the new locks. This is, in part, the effect produced by the flow of winds and the increase in solar radiation, which has increased the evaporation of water from the Canal reservoirs. Every centimeter that is subtracted from the depth of Canal customers represents less money, jobs, and benefits for our country. This is the fourth occasion in two months when the draft has been reduced, which may worsen as long as the El Niño effect currently in progress is not over. In addition to this cyclical phenomenon, climate change and the overuse of water use present enormous challenges to the Panama Canal. Without water, there is no Canal, agriculture, hydroelectric, tourism or quality of life. The watershed of the Panama Canal requires more protection, and water management must be considered one of the great strategic problems of Panama. We cannot live with our backs to the environmental crisis, nor can we let irresponsibility with water devour us all, leaving us in a permanent drought- LA PRENSA, Mar. 1
 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/opinion-a-path-to-permanent-drought

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Climate change sparks Canal transit alerts

canal-draft.jpg
 
Posted 02/03/2019
 
Climate change added to the El Niño phenomenon has brought other effects like stronger solar radiation and wind, forcing the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) to communicate four alerts to draft adjustments for neopanamax vessels.

The maximum depth or normal depth to which Neopanamax can navigate through the Canal is 50 feet, but, due to the low levels of Gatun and Alajuela lakes, the ACP has had to announce changes.

The first adjustment, which was applied since February 11, reduced the level for the Neopanamax to 49 feet. The second adjustment, which took effect February 27, places the draft at 48 feet.

The third adjustment is announced from March 13 is to 47 feet and the fourth authorized to 46 feet from March 29, says Carlos Vargas, ACP vice president of Water and Environment.

The notice sent to the shipping companies indicates that ships arriving after March 29, with drafts of more than 14.02 meters (46 feet) may be allowed "depending on the actual level of Gatun Lake at the time of the transit". Otherwise, add the notice, it will be necessary to cut or download some merchandise.

Although removing the weight of the boats affects Canal revenues, so far it has not had much impact because there are few vessels that require more than 48 feet.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/climate-change-sparks-canal-transit-alerts

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And yet, how about the simple explanation - the new locks use a remendous amount of water but lake Gatun was not increased in size to provide it....

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
55 minutes ago, JohnF13 said:

And yet, how about the simple explanation - the new locks use a remendous amount of water but lake Gatun was not increased in size to provide it....

 

It's been years since I've read the contract for the new locks but one of the fundamental differences between the old and new locks is that the new locks use pumps versus gravity to fill the locks via dedicated reserves outside of Lake Gatun.  Drought should be much less of a concern.

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, JohnF13 said:

And yet, how about the simple explanation - the new locks use a remendous amount of water but lake Gatun was not increased in size to provide it....

The level of Lake Gatun was raised significantly during Canal expansion.

Maximum operating level of Gatun Lake

Canal elevations are referred to using the Precise Level Datum (PLD), which is close to the mean sea level of the Atlantic and Pacific entrances. The maximum operational level of Gatun Lake was raised by approximately 0.45 meters (1.5 feet) from the previous PLD level of 26.7 meters (88 feet) to a PLD level of 27.1 meters (89 feet). Combined with the widening and deepening of the navigational channels, this has increased Gatun Lake's usable water reserve capacity and allows the canal's water system to supply a daily average of 165,000,000 US gal (625,000 m3; 137,000,000 imp gal) of additional water. This additional water volume is enough to provide an annual average of approximately 1,100 additional lockages without affecting the water supply for human use, which is also provided from Gatun and Alhajuela Lakes.[

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panama_Canal_expansion_project#Maximum_operating_level_of_Gatun_Lake

The new locks also retain 60% of their water.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually John, I think the simple explanation is probably the one the Canal Authority provided. They study the heck out of this stuff and a higher rate of evaporation due to higher temperatures makes sense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, it does.  Especially if the lake has a larger surface area now.  I'm just not sure about climate change being blamed for everything.  It is an easy and convenient excuse for a lot of folks and organisations.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was NOT comfortable with the title for this topic -- Climate Change Affects Canal Operations. Have changed it now to read Climate Change and Canal Operations. If anyone objects or has a better title, please advise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are extremely dry and wet conditions caused by politicians?

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...