Lower river water levels

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We are increasingly encountering prolonged dry periods. During extreme droughts, the water levels in our rivers will be lower, not in the port itself, but along the Rhine and Maas rivers.

Lage waterstand rivier met schip
Photo: iStock

In 2018 and 2022, the river water levels were very low for a long time. This hampered inland waterway transport, created logistical problems and significantly increased transport costs. The long-term expectation is that the probability of extreme low water will increase from once every 60 years to once every 20 years.

Port of Rotterdam Authority, together with the Dutch Department of Waterways and Public Works (Rijkswaterstaat) and the inland waterway organisations, is investigating how inland vessels can continue to serve the current destinations in such situations. They do this by better forecasting low river levels, informing partners along the chain on time, developing alternative transport scenarios and developing a long-term approach to waterway management.

For more information about low water and river water levels, please visit the Rijkswaterstaat information portal.