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Drought in the Rhine could stop important transportation

Container ships pass daily on the Rhine.
Container ships pass daily on the Rhine.

The German Rhine is one of the most important transport routes in Europe.

Now the ships can be stopped – due to drought.

The stately river is a thing of the past after the hot, dry summer. In some stretches of the river, the depth of the water has decreased significantly.

The city of Kaub is the center of extensive freight traffic and plays a major role above all in the Ruhr region.

By Friday, the water depth had only fallen to 40cm, which is down to a quarter of the normal water level. Now cargo ships have been forced to halve the weight of cargo so it doesn’t skew, Danish TV2 reports.

If the river’s water level drops, there will be dire consequences for both the German and Danish economies – as well as for ecosystems and aquatic animals.

In addition to the drying up of the Rhine, many dams have dried up.

Flags for multiple actions

For Germans, a real cold shower can await them. German authorities announce several measures to save water. Energy Minister Robert Habeck (the Greens) says he himself gets wet with minutes and heat in the morning shower, but adds in an interview with the Süddeutsche Zeitung:

There is also a need to provide more energy in working life.

Many countries in Europe were affected by severe drought, including Italy. The country received only intermittent rain, and last winter only 30 percent of the normal amount of snow fell. Among other things, it affected the Po River, an important source of water for agriculture in the country.