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Roof top tanks store water in a Panamanian village without continuous water supply.

Rucker Alex and Charlotte D. Smith discuss ways to improve drinking water access and quality in Panama.

“Despite being surrounded — and bisected — by water, Panama struggles to meet its citizens’ water needs in both urban and rural areas. In 2013, 840,000 of the country’s 3.8 million people lacked 24-hour access to water, 600,000 did not have access to a potable supply, and 30,000 relied on tank trucks to deliver drinking water.

Urban regions have experienced significant disruptions to their water supply in recent years. In December 2010, a 15-day rainstorm caused mud from Alajuela Lake to clog purification equipment at a nearby water treatment plant. The resulting shutdown, which lasted for over a month, hampered tap water access for more than a million residents of Panama City.”

Read more on the Center for Latin American Studies, UC Berkeley website