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Rhine River could fall below critical mark, risking industry

APTOPIX Germany Heat
Posted at 2:11 PM, Aug 12, 2022

COLOGNE, Germany (AP) — German officials say water levels on the Rhine River could reach a critically low point in the coming days, making the transport of goods along the river increasingly difficult.

Weeks of dry weather have turned several of Europe’s major waterways into trickles, posing a headache for German factories and power plants that rely on deliveries by ship and making an economic slowdown ever more likely.

“This is particularly the case for the Rhine, whose nautical bottleneck at Kaub has very low water levels but which remains navigable for ships with small drafts,” said Tim Alexandrin, a spokesman for Germany's Transport Ministry, to the Associated Press.

Authorities predict water levels at the town of Kaub will dip below 16 inches early Friday and keep falling over the weekend.

While this is higher than the record low seen in October 2018, many large ships could struggle to safely pass the river at that point.

Low water levels isn't the only thing causing a headache in Germany.

Prices on natural gas have skyrocketed due to flows of it shrinking.