Extremely low water levels along Rhine River warn of transport of goods being affected. For several European countries, including Germany, waterway is a key trade route. Commodities like grains, chemicals and coal are shipped using this route. Low water levels on one of Europe’s largest rivers could affect the transport of goods including coal and petrol. There have been weeks of dry weather across Europe which have drastically hit water levels on major waterways. German factories under pressure due to the drought, as the power plants rely on deliveries by ship.
One of the longest and most critically important rivers in Europe – runs from the Swiss Alps through Liechtenstein, Germany, Austria, France and the Netherlands. It is being predicted that the water levels at Kaub would dip below 40 centimetres soon and may continue to drop over the weekend.
This is higher than 2018 records. It means many large ships would struggle to pass safely through the route – along the Rhine between Koblenz and Mainz. Owing to the lack of water, ships bringing salt from Heilbronn to Cologne would be able to carry approx.. 600 tonnes of cargo instead of 2,200 tonnes. In normal circumstances, there’d be more than two metres under the ship but now it is only 40 centimetres in some areas, as per resources, which can cause potential damage to ships.
Many German authorities have begun shifting cargos to rail networks. Few vessels are stranded along sections of the river bed exposed due to the low levels of water, with people able to walk in areas that would have been underwater.