Barge restrictions expected on Rhine as water levels drop

26 Apr 2021

London (Quantum Commodity Intelligence) - Rhine water levels have fallen consistently in the second half of April and barges may need to be lightened by the end of the month, forecasts show.

At Kaub, a key chokepoint situated near many of Germany’s industries, water levels are expected to fall below 1 metre on 29 April, triggering restrictions for barges operating on the river.

Rainfall has been consistently below the five-year average in February, March and April in Western Germany, according to data from German weather agency DWD.

However, rain is forecast at the start of May, which could bring a temporary respite to the river.

Kaub water levels are expected to bottom out at 1 metre in late April, before rising towards 1.1 metre in the early part of May.