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Record-low Mississippi River leads to water issues in Louisiana parish, struggles across the globe - Energy And Water Development Corp

Record-low Mississippi River leads to water issues in Louisiana parish, struggles across the globe


ROSEDALE, MISSISSIPPI - OCTOBER 20: In this aerial view, barges, stranded by low water sit at the Port of Rosedale along the Mississippi River on October 20, 2022 in Rosedale, Mississippi. Lack of rain in the Ohio River Valley and along the Upper Mississippi has the Mississippi River south of the confluence of the Ohio River nearing record low levels which is wreaking havoc with barge traffic, driving up shipping prices and threatening crop exports and fertilizer shipments as the soybean and corn harvest gets into full swing.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Barges full of goods have nowhere to go due to the Mississippi River’s record-low water levels.

Conditions are set for a particularly bleak winter for the many, many countries and communities reliant on goods shipped by way of the Mississippi River. October saw yet another month of particularly dry conditions and, with harvest season, many locations along the river are clogged with barges unable to pass a waterway that normally spans a full mile but has dwindled to less than half a mile. Bloomberg reports that goods like grains are simply not being exported the ways they normally would be, with prices to ship barges of soy, corn, wheat, and other staples rising more than 2,000%.

Due to barges’ massive sizes and the Mississippi River’s series of locks and channels meant to mitigate flooding, navigating the country’s second-longest river has become impossible at some points. And there is simply no equivalent alternative for goods producers like farmers and industrial facilities to get their products where they need to go. Shipping by train or truck sends significantly more emissions into the atmosphere and costs substantially more money. The owner of a cement company in Chicago told Bloomberg that even using alternative waterways, like the St. Lawrence River, would triple shipping costs for his company.





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