After months of drought, the level of the river Rhine in Karlsruhe, Germany, has fallen to an all-time low. 3.14 metres (level Maxau) was, according to the flood forecasting Central Baden-Württemberg, say on Thursday the value of 22. September 2003 of 3.20 meters. This marks the lowest value in the period from 1996 to 2005. The mean water level of the Rhine at the gauge Maxau is 5.16 meters.

A still lower water level was at 27. September 1972, 3.02 have been measured. In January, there had been high water waves with Levels of about 8.5 meters. The low water, the shipping status be affected. Several of the Rhine ferries have ceased to operate. According to the water – and shipping administration, it is the responsibility of the cargo vessel, your cargo to the fairway depth.

record-low levels on the middle Rhine

The low water of the middle Rhine at the gauge Kaub fell on Wednesday evening to a record-low level. In extreme low water of the river Rhine, many new rock formations, and gravel banks appear. According to the information provided by the waterways and shipping administration of the Federation the level was Kaub stand at 34 inches. The century record in the heat year 2003, had located there in 35 centimeters.

The level at Kaub is considered to be an important brand for the upper middle Rhine valley. Water levels are measured from a defined zero point – actually, the fairway at Kaub, according to the waterway management about 1.50 meters deep. The German weather service also predicted for the next few days and a Golden October. To rain is not to think.

Rhine has the irregular profile

In the case of low water there is no driving bans, unlike the high water. At a certain high level, the Drive will be prohibited on the Rhine, because the waves of ships to threaten the shores. At low water vessels endanger themselves. Large ships tend to have more problems, can often charge less. The Elbe and the Oder are at the moment about not driving.

The Rhine is not jammed, in contrast to other rivers. This means that he has an irregular profile. His reason is of different depth, the ground stony, other times sandy. Therefore, there are many levels of slats and different stands.

ferries are at a standstill

At the current water level, the usable depth of the fairway is only about 1.5 meters. A 110-Meter-long Rhine vessel immersed empty between 60 to 80 centimeters deep and 10 centimeters of water depth per 100 tons of cargo. Instead of the usual 3000 tons, 800 tons or less can be loaded. The ship-owners to get a so-called low water surcharges. Companies that want to transport goods on the river Rhine, will have to spend below the line, the more money.

cargo ships no longer able to load fully. Cabin ships are rare to see on the middle Rhine. Some ferries have abandoned because of the low water, long temporarily, for example, in the Upper middle Rhine valley between Niederheimbach and the Hessian town of Lorch, or between the Pfalz, Altrip, and Mannheim.

A date for the re-commissioning was not foreseeable, for example in the Altrip ferry. Some ferry operators have helped for the time being, with expensive dredging of its navigation channel, for example, between the Rhine-Hessian Ingelheim and Oestrich-Winkel in the Rheingau.

Constance with questionable low-value – Spree flows backwards

the water level of lake Constance has reached a low value. It was at the level of Konstanz on Thursday morning to 2.88 meters, however, still well above the lowest level in the period 1980 to 2010. This amounted to 2.29 metres at the 15. February 2006.

According to the state of Baden Institute for the environment-Württemberg (LUBW) are fed by the river now, mainly due to the underground flow of groundwater. Since February, there have been in the southwest, only about 60 percent of the normal amount of precipitation. The low water situation is country-wide yet not so extraordinary as in the year 2003. As for the coming days, no rain is predicted, expect the experts with more stagnant or slightly falling water.

In Berlin there is also a Worry. In an interview with FOCUS Online, Derk Ehlert of the Berlin environmental administration says that the Spree to run for months with little water. At one point, have changed even the direction of flow from West to East. Because several factors are involved. The river Spree is generally a slowly flowing river. And, in some areas, it now flows instead to the West in the East.

Crucial to the current direction of change of the Havel, which flows on the West side of the river Spree. Normally, the river Spree into the flow in the river Havel, says Derk Ehlert. Currently, the Havel run, however, more water than the river Spree, which is why the Havel back to flow now till the last previous Weir in the river Spree.

"It is an emergency situation, we have not had as yet", explains Ehlert, is convinced, however, that does not dry out the river Spree. Here is the Newsletter “” subscribe to the Know

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water-level and level – what is that, exactly?

Basically, a level says nothing about the actual depth of water in a River, as Martin Klimmer of the waterways and shipping administration of Germany (WSV). It is measured in centimeters, starting from a defined zero point, not from the bottom. This is done in a yellow-and-black bar, the bar Level. The selected zero point should be at the extreme low stands, covered in water.

this zero point to be Set anywhere else: Over a longer period of time, the waters will be observed, the lowest there recorded is declared to be the zero point. The first level measurements on the river Rhine, there were already hundreds of years ago, nowadays, automated measurement systems are in place, the values can be found in digital databases.

the man lays down on the cliff to the river, but the flow he has underestimated Bit Projects man lays down on the cliff to the river, but the flow he has fas underestimated/with Agency material