Droughts bring low water levels across US

Maggie Eubanks

ThThe mighty Mississippi River gets its

name from the wide banks and deep

waters that flflow through the U.S. But

recently, the river’s might has dwindled

to mud and puddles.

ThThe United States is experiencing the

worst drought it has seen in decades,

leading to record low water levels on

the Mississippi River.

In some areas the river is so low that

barges and boats are having to form

lines to get through narrow channels.

In other places, they have to turn

around altogether.

Offifficials from the National Weather

Service say it is likely the river levels

could continue to lessen over the coming

weeks with no substantial amounts

of rain in the forecast.

With the problem only getting worse,

cities in Louisiana are starting to worry

about what could happen to the water

supply here in the state.

In the past few days, saltwater has

begun to creep into south Louisiana.

ThThose on low-sodium diets were advised

to drink bottled water until the

problem subsides.

Heath Jones, an emergency manager

with the Army Corps of Engineers, said

the saltwater can move upstream due

to the declined speed in water flflow.

ThThe river doesn’t have the force right

now to keep the salt in the Gulf,” Jones

said. “ThThe drought is keeping the river

from having enough force to keep the

saltwater in the bay.”

ThThe low water levels are also causing

supply chain issues. With barges not

being able to get all the way down the

river, farmers and other suppliers are

having to turn to other options like

trains or semi-trucks.

But according to the New York Times,

it would take 16 rail cars or 62 semitrucks

to transport the same amount

as a single barge.

With suppliers now left with no

choice but to pay more to transport

their goods, Americans can expect to

see a continued rise in inflflation.

According to the National Weather

Service, extreme drought is only one

problem of many that will continue

to occur if nothing is done to combat

climate change.

Residents across the country are

hopeful water levels will rise in the

coming weeks, but until the U.S.

experiences some rain, those around

the river will continue to be stuck in

the mud.