Disasters & Accidents

Rhine water levels hit new lows further disrupting shipping routes

Berlin, Aug 15 (EFE).- Water levels of the Rhine River, one of Europe’s most important waterways, hit new lows Monday due to the ongoing drought in Germany, further restricting the distribution of vital commodities.

The water level at Kaub, the most critical waypoint for the transport of fuel and other industrial goods, dropped to 32 centimeters Monday, according to the German Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration (WSV).

The situation on Germany’s longest river has complicated the transport of raw materials and fuels with the low level of water being uneconomical for barges to transit, a critical issue amid a looming energy crisis.

Coal is currently being used to offset the energy that would come from gas to achieve the storage target deemed necessary to secure winter supplies.

Until these levels are reached, and in the event of a drastic reduction in Russian gas supplies, coal is being used, making the Rhine crucial to coping with the energy crisis precipitated by the war in Ukraine.

As long as the level of the river remains so low, river transport is carried out with reduced loads, with considerable losses for the sector.

The Rhine, which runs 1,230 kilometers from its source in the Swiss Alps to its mouth at the North Sea, crosses Germany’s most industrialized regions. EFE


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