The drought in the Rhine region, which threatens to slow the German economy, may ease, according to forecasts published Wednesday, it is possible that the water level on the most important water transport routes in Germany will rise by more than half a meter in the coming days. MTI reports.
According to a statement from the Rhine Water and Shipping Authority, rainfall can be expected in the entire catchment area of the river, so the water level will rise by 50 cm or more by the end of next week. Due to the dry weather of the past months, the water level in the middle and lower reaches of the river is unusually low, and no lasting improvement is expected at present. After the wave recedes, the Rhine will recede again.
According to their data, the water level in the shallow part, in Kaup near Koblenz, was only 34 cm on Wednesday. However, this does not mean that the water column between the surface and the lowest point of the bed is only 34 cm, because the so-called zero point is not the deepest point of the bed for reasons of measurement technology. In the lane used by cargo ships, the water is much deeper – 146 cm in Kaub, 186 cm in Cologne, 196 cm in Emmerich on the German-Dutch border – but compared to the maximum drag of ships used on the Rhine, this is also very shallow.
The draft of full-tonnage cargo ships is 2.5-4.5 m, depending on size, so less payload can be carried at lower water levels.
The Rhine is one of the most important transportation routes for raw materials, chemicals and energy carriers in Germany, and therefore the development of the water level that determines transportation costs is of national economic importance. According to the Confederation of German Industrial Companies (BDI), the drop in the water level threatens entire sectors. The advocacy group wrote in its statement on Tuesday that it is only a “matter of time” and production at chemical and steel plants should be suspended, which states that it is increasingly difficult to maintain the security of energy supplies.
The BDI wrote that the falling water level in the Rhine could “undermine the political plan that we are temporarily more dependent on coal due to the gas crisis”. Due to the limited capacity of the rail network and the shortage of truck drivers, freight traffic on the Rhine cannot be diverted to rail or road.
“Friendly thinker. Wannabe social media geek. Extreme student. Total troublemaker. Web evangelist. Tv advocate.”