SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Shipping along the Rhine and connecting waterways is operating well below capacity as the river’s water level registered a record low at the weekend, online news service Nu.nl has reported.
The level of the Rhine stood at an average of just 6.87 metres above the NAP indicator at the Lobith measuring station on the German border on Saturday. The previous record was set in 2011 when NAP stood at 6.89 metres above NAP.
NAP stands for Normaal Amsterdams Peil or the normal water level in Amsterdam, which is slightly lower than sea level. NAP is used as a base to measure how high or low water levels are.
There was heavy rain in Germany on Friday and Saturday, but it will take three to four days before that extra water reaches the Netherlands, the national transport authority Rijkswaterstaat said.
The Rhine shipping sector has been affected by the low water levels in the rivers passing through the Netherlands. Inland vessels are forced to carry reduced loads. Ships are hitting bottom in certain areas near Nijmegen.
Rijkswaterstaat is issuing addition reports so that skippers can plan alternative routes to and from Germany. On 10 January, the Rhine at Lobith reached 14.64 metres above NAP, one of the highest levels ever recorded, as heavy rain and melting snow from the Alps and Germany swelled the river. (DutchNews)