Water has become a strategic resource for Panama’s socio-economic development, with the Panama Canal as the flagship of its water-driven economy. However, given the potential effects that water-related challenges may have on Panama’s economy and society, as well as on global trade, it is crucial that the country’s water resources are managed adequately and sustainably. The Panama Water Sector Study 2022, commissioned by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Panama and conducted by the Netherlands Water Partnership (NWP), informs Dutch water actors interested or operating in Panama about the water-related challenges and opportunities in this country.
Panama’s exceptionally high levels of precipitation, rich watersheds, and abundant rivers make it one of the world’s most water-rich countries. With approximately 33,000 cubic metres freshwater per capita available, nearly six times the global average, Panama is well-endowed when it comes to this natural resource. However, Panama is currently facing various water-related challenges, even – paradoxically – water scarcity. Other challenges include equitable access to water and sanitation in rural areas, intense seasonal flooding, extreme levels of water consumption per capita, and marine and coastal challenges.
The Panama Water Sector Study 2022 presents an overview of these water-related challenges and opportunities found in the Panamanian water sector in order to inform Dutch water actors working in Panama or interested in doing business in the country.
Results from both desk-research and interviews point to a need for integrated water solutions in the following areas: the water-agriculture nexus, data and monitoring, water availability and management, and wastewater and sanitation. Since many of the found challenges are driven or exacerbated by changing climatic conditions, an approach founded in climate resilience is also needed. The expertise and experience of the Dutch water sector makes Dutch businesses prime candidates for entering the Panamanian market.
To learn more about the Panamanian water sector and access the report, click here.