Rhine water levels surge allowing healthy flow of barge traffic

25 Jun 2021

Quantum Commodity Intelligence – Rhine water levels have surged once again due to high rainfall in parts of Germany and Switzerland and continued snowmelt in the Alps, data from Germany’s Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration (WSV) showed Friday.

At Kaub, near many of Germany’s industries, water height reached 3.2 metres Friday, up from around 2.4 metres on 21 June. This is the third such increase in water levels since the middle of May, the WSV data showed.

It puts Rhine water levels slightly above their five-year average, but way off the maximums of more than 5 metres seen in June 2016 during a very rainy episode.

Current water levels are high enough to ensure normal navigation on the river and plentiful resupply of oil products from Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp and the extra gains help insure against a dry spell hampering traffic later in the summer.

Kaub water levels were likely to rise further to 3.4 metres by 27 June, before falling off, forecast data from WSV showed. Further out, another increase may be on the cards with up to 30-35 millimetres of rain forecast in Southern Germany on 28/29 June, a very significant amount.

In Duisburg, in the north of Germany, water levels were just under 4.4 metres Friday and were likely to reach 5 metres by 29 June.