Land and Resources, Rivers and Lakes
Tuira, San Pablo River, Gatun Lake, Chagres, Alajuela
Panama has several important rivers. The Chagres drains a watershed of 326,000 hectares (806,000 acres) north of Panama City and flows into the Caribbean just west of Colon. The Chagres has been dammed in two places: in Gatun, to create a lake for the Panama Canal, and upriver in Alajuela, for water storage and hydroelectric power. Gatun Lake, one of the largest artificial reservoirs in the world, covers 43,000 hectares (106,000 acres) and allows ships to transit the canal at an elevation of 26 m (85 ft) above sea level.
Panama’s largest river, the Tuira, flows south into the Gulf of San Miguel, draining much of the Darien region. The San Pablo River in the south central portion of the country drains into the Montijo Gulf. The Chepo River, which flows southwest into the Pacific near Panama City, has been dammed to create Lake Bayano, an important hydroelectric power source. None of Panama’s rivers are navigable by deep-draft ships.
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