The downside to dry

While we welcome the breeze blowing and wave good bye to the rainy days, let’s take a look at downsides to dry season in Panama.

The biggest negatives to dry season in Panama are increased burning and water shortages. 

Burning Season 

With the start of dry season the smell of burning will become a constant, providing a lower air quality, which can become an issue for those suffering from respiratory issues.

Burning in Panama is a common practice to clear land, after months of cutting back growth throughout the rainy season. Typically burning is the worst at the start of dry season as well as the end, as people try to get in the last burn before the rain returns. 

So with the wind also expect, smoke and ash blowing your way especially if you are on the ground level. Expect to see fires in your community, and if they look out of control (which they often are as precautionary measures are rarely followed) report them using #311. 

Water shortages 

Each dry season Panama suffers from drought, affecting everything from local communities water supplies to the functioning of the countries biggest asset, the Panama canal. 

This year, a $4.5 billion water supply plan aims to mitigate the affect this drought will have on the population. The plan, coming from the administration of current president, Laurentino Cortizo, is a five year effort to guarantee water supply in Panama.

The plans include multipurpose reservoirs to diversify water sources, in addition to building a distribution network. 

Water production and distribution projects are planned in David, Santiago, Parita, Chitré, Los Santos, Las Tablas, Aguadulce, Arraiján and tourist areas such as the Pacific beaches, Costa Arriba and Costa Abajo de Colón and Isla Colón, in Bocas del Toro.

The plan also aims to work with Idaan to repair leaks and improve infrastructure as  increase production is secondary to keeping the water we already have. Reducing the 40% of water that is being lost to failed infrastructure must be priority explains the document outlining this strategic plan. 

"The challenge will be to complete the projects in execution, ensuring that they comply with the agreed terms and conditions and explore the sources of financing that make their execution possible," the official document highlights.