The Germans tremble over the rivers. Expert: “There will probably be plenty of drinking water”

In the town of Emmerich in northwest Germany, the Rhine recorded a record low at the beginning of the week. This is a problem not only for shipping, but also for the ecosystem, the environment and fisheries. Replenishment of water shortages in rivers may take a long time, and the effects of the current situation may be felt for years, says hydrologist Daniel Bachman in an interview with the n-tv station.

Germany. Extremely low water level on the rivers

– Such a low level of water in rivers as we are currently observing is an unusual situation – explains the expert.

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Such a low water level affects many different areas, incl. shipping. – The times are more unfavorable as hard coal and brown coal have been transported more frequently recently – he adds.

Low water levels can shut down hydropower plants because not enough water is flowing through the turbines. – We can also see from the example of France that this can be a problem when there is a lack of cooling water for nuclear power plants – emphasizes Bachman. Many industries that draw water from rivers are experiencing problems. “And of course the entire ecosystem suffers, as does tourism and fishing,” he notes.

– Floods come suddenly, the damage can be seen immediately and directly. From a purely hydrological point of view, one year later the effects of the floods are no longer felt. On the other hand, the consequences of low water levels may be felt long after the river bed is full again, he explains.

A bird on a dry Rhine, near Cologne (Germany). Photo PAP / EPA / FRIEDEMANN VOGEL

“Drinking water will probably not run out”

For Ren to return to his normal state, “it must rain a lot and constantly.” – A few storms sweeping across the country is not enough. As a result, the river level rises relatively quickly. But to replenish the losses in the groundwater level, at least another rainy fall and winter would be needed, adds the expert.

– The effects of (low water level – ed.) Will be felt for years, if ever the groundwater returns to its former level – summarizes the expert and adds: “I do not want to scare anyone, we probably will not have a problem with drinking water in Germany. But it can certainly create limitations in other areas. ”


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