Rijkswaterstaat and water boards are trying to impose additional restrictions on shipping by postponing extremely low water levels. It helps that the Rhine in Lobeth has a small peak drainage at the end of the week as it rained heavily in Switzerland at the beginning of this week. Water managers are trying to keep a little extra water so that there is no longer a need for actions such as one-way traffic at IJssel and closing of lock pools, according to the National Water Distribution Coordination Committee (LCW) drought monitor.
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Three temporary pump stations are now operational at Eefde in Gelderland, where IJssel will supply water to the busy Twente canals. The Zuidersluis is closed off at the lock complex as it now functions as a pump street. At Noordersluis, ships can only pass after a telephone consultation and a waiting period. Locksmiths’ managers see the supply of ships in IFDE is declining. Twente channels are the most important connection for shipping from ports to northern Germany, but there have been restrictions for weeks due to drought.
Raise the water level
Rijkswaterstaat wants to raise the water level in the Lower Rhine between Driel and Amerongen with the upcoming small peak discharge. If successful, the hurdles of commercial and recreational ships could be postponed. However, this would require river calculations to prevent the water supply to IJssel from running back, so that the Twente canals would still have problems, according to LCW.
Shipping must handle detours and waiting times across the Netherlands and Belgium, according to the LCW. There will be a long wait in Terneuzen this week, because the locks there won’t open two hours before low water and two hours after low water, in order to save water. On the Maas River, the buoys indicating where recreators are allowed to sail have been removed. Commercial shipping should take into account that pleasure yachts are located in the main lane.
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