Water Security

Safeguarding water sources for people and nature.

Nearly 500 rivers traverse Panama's rugged landscape. This huge water network sustains people, Panama's booming economy, and holds vast potential for the generation of hydroelectric power. It also sustains Panama's extraordinary biodiversity.

Since 1991, The Nature Conservancy has helped safeguard the natural areas that provide Panama with its fresh water.

The man-made Panama Canal needs to be brimming with at least 52 million gallons of water for a single ship to navigate between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. As many as 38 ships pass through the 50-mile canal daily.

The Panama Canal's watershed not only provides 100% of the necessary water for the operation of the Panama Canal, but also is the main water source for 1.5 million people, over half of the Panamanian population.

  • The Nature Conservancy has implemented scientific tools and pilot projects that will make it possible to check the feasibility and benefits of implementing a Water Fund, as a strategic decision to complement conservation and integrated management actions in the hydrological basin of the Panama Canal, guaranteeing its long-term maintenance and improving the environmental services it provides.
  • Check out our work!

Canal de Panama


The rivers and tropical rainforests adjacent to the canal, store, recycle and replenish much of its water.

  • We work with local organizations, governments and companies to replenish the forests that protect water at its source.

A traditional wooden boat navigates the Sixaola River through the Talamanca-Bribri Indigenous Territory. The area supports indigenous communities who reside in the lower watershed of eastern Costa Rica's border with Panama.

We continue to support and work with national protected areas and partners like The Fundacion Parque Nacional Chagres to protect Panama's watersheds.

View of Soberania Natioinal Park


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