Lakes Gatun and Alajuela, located within the watershed of the Panama Canal, are the sources of supply for the Canal's operations, but also provide water for 1.9 million people or more than 55 percent of the country's population.
According to Canal Administrator Jorge Luis Quijano, the forecast of water consumption for the population in 2025 is 362 million gallons per day.
Panama is one of the countries with the highest water consumption rate in Latin America. According to a study, each person consumes 100 gallons of water per day or 379 litres, while the average in the region is 48 gallons or 177 litres.
"The state must lead the search for new water sources to meet the growing demand for human and industrial consumption resulting from economic and population growth," Quijano said.
The ACP operates and manages three water plants, which are located in Miraflores, La Chorrera and Colón. Lake Alajuela also supplies raw water to the plant in Chilibre, the largest in the country.
What is worrying, according to Quijano, is that new plants are being planned that are also located within the basin of the Panama Canal, which also needs the water to operate the locks.
He said the amount of water in the basin is not endless, and a long-term plan is needed to serve both interests.