14 Jun 2013:
Nicaragua Approves New Canal
Linking Atlantic and Pacific Oceans
Nicaragua has approved plans to build a $40 billion cross-country canal
linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, a project that would rival the Panama Canal but is raising major concerns about impacts on
Click to enlarge
Gran Canal Interoceánico por Nicaragua
Potential Nicaragua canal routes
regional water supplies and the environment. Lawmakers yesterday granted Hong-Kong-based HK Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Co. a 50-year concession to study, and possibly construct, a 180-mile canal that advocates say would better accommodate the massive cargo ships and supertankers needed to handle the increased trade between Asia and the Americas. Major questions remain, however, about whether the canal will ever be built. Environmental advocates warn that water needed to operate the massive infrastructure project would deplete the region’s freshwater supplies. According to Public Radio International
, five of the six canal routes identified in a feasibility study would cut across Lake Nicaragua, also known as Cocibolca, the country’s largest source of freshwater. “We’re at a crossroads because either you use Lake Cocibolca for floating boats or you use it for drinking water,” Victor Campos, of the Humboldt Center, an environmental group, told the Associated Press. “But you can’t use it for both things at once.”
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