Can the Panama Canal, a relic of the Industrial Revolution, survive in the modern era? That is the question that is haunting Panama, which depends on the canal’s revenue-generating power to help ensure economic stability. As ships grow ever larger, fewer of them are able to squeeze through the narrow canal, despite a $1 billion widening project completed less than a year ago. Now the country is considering building a bigger set of locks to accommodate larger ships, but both the financial and environmental price tags are raising eyebrows among some Panamanians. The new locks would flood several villages and force the relocation of up to 12,000 people, and the ships passing through them would push millions of gallons of freshwater out of the canal and into the sea with each passage — cause for concern in a country whose water supply is dwindling. A study released last year by an environmental organization found that the proposed projects “involve substantial social, environmental, and economic risks”; an official government study of the potential impact is due out next year.