The river’s near-historic lows due to extreme drought are causing problems with transfers of cargo through the river, which is especially problematic for the upcoming grain season.
ccording to CNN, water levels along the Mississippi River are plummeting for the second year in a row after this summer’s blistering heat and low rainfall triggered extreme drought across parts of the Central US.
The drought is occurring as a vital harvest season approaches, and farmers are anxious about water availability and barge delivery. As NBC reports, water levels to near-historic lows, have enabled saline water from the Gulf of Mexico to creep upriver and far further inland than usual.
The constant upstream push of saline water in the drought-stricken Mississippi River may have major health and economic ramifications in southern Louisiana, where many villages depend on the river for drinking water, agriculture, and shipping.
Forecasts by the US National Weather Service Jackson Mississippi, are not at all encouraging, as much of the area remains in severe to exceptional drought and it will remain dry through this week.
Short term drought conditions are expected to persist at least through the next month, so a risk of fire danger and low stream flows will continue, the weather service said in a statement.