ABC News’ foreign correspondent Matt Rivers breaks it down on “START HERE.”
Low water levels at the Panama Canal are causing a traffic jam at the historic trading route that connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, threatening to ensnarl the holiday shipping season and raising alarm among canal officials.
The 109-year-old canal works through a water lock system that move ships up or down as they make it to the other side. Each ship that goes through the canal uses millions of gallons of water that gets sucked in from nearby lakes. Without this fresh water, the canal can’t operate.
There’s always been enough rainfall flowing to these lakes, but this year a longer dry season and a shorter rainy season have led to a shortage of freshwater to feed the canal, according to canal officials.
ABC News foreign correspondent Matt Rivers spoke to “START HERE” about his visit to the canal, how authorities are instituting new rules to help conserve water and concerns about the potential impact on supply chains and consumer prices.