Sustainability has been a key concern from the beginning of the Project for Salini Impregilo and the consortium, even before bids were submitted, especially for environmental water impact and for rainforest and its inhabitants protection.
The consortium solved the problem of the environmental impact and high water consumption of the project thanks to a system called Water Saving Basins. By reusing the water taken from Gatun Lake, it reduces the dispersion of water in the ocean: each lock in the new system has an auxiliary basin which enables a 60% water saving, so each transit can be completed using around 200 million litres of water instead of about 500 million litres, as was previously the case.
For the rainforest and its inhabitants, protective measures were taken during the excavation, levelling and opening of the planned path of the canal. Hundreds of species typical of the tropical habitat were rescued in the process.