Idaan takes steps to restore capital's water supply

Monday, January 10, 2011

Panama's national water and sanitation utility Idaan has proposed measures to overcome the potable water shortage in Panama City, which has left around 1mn residents without domestic access to drinking water.

The measures include cleaning sedimentation tanks at the Chilibre potable water plant, which supplies the capital and surrounding area, to increase production of potable water by 25%.

Water will continue to be distributed through 76 cistern trucks at 12 distribution centers, to reach areas including Juan Diaz, Pedregal, Las Acacias and Don Bosco, according to a presidential release.

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Panama City has been suffering from a critical potable water shortage since December, when unprecedented rainfall caused the Chilibre plant's water supply to become contaminated with sediment, exceeding the plant's treatment capacity.

While some areas are receiving supply as normal through the city's distribution networks, the water is still not apt for human consumption, although sediment levels have decreased. Normal services are expected to resume by mid-week, according to local press reports.

Idaan lost US$1.2mn in income during December alone due to the suspension of service, according to commercial director Rolando Bocanegra.