Germany prepares for extremely low water levels

German policymakers and industry will launch a Low Water Action Plan due to low water levels on the River Rhine. The country has been experiencing a record drought this summer.

Germany is taking preventive actions because in the long term, due to climate change, there will be extreme periods of low water.

The drought has also caused river shipping in the country to be affected, Drought has also hit Europe in recent weeks with new low water levels recorded at many measuring stations, putting the policymakers to face an immense logistical challenge.

The Rhine is Europe’s busiest waterway and during a previous record drought in 2018, freight transport volumes on German inland waterways plummeted by more than a third. This year, water levels have started to rise again, but the historically difficult autumn months are yet to come.

The decision to launch a joint Low Water Action Plan is “spot on. The country’s economy is highly sensitive to any disruptions on the Rhine. During the energy crisis, inland shipping was of “enormous importance” for transporting energy sources such as coal or mineral oil, which are now used to replace gas.