The prolonged heatwave and the lack of precipitation have resulted in a critical situation involving the water levels in the River Danube. Therefore, the river fleet of the Ukrainian Danube Shipping Company (UDP) is currently operating in the lower part of the river following its closure to navigation.

The Ukrainian Danube Shipping Company’s acting General Director Dmytro Moskalenko announced this, the CFTS portal reports.

The average water levels in the River Danube are expected to be 10-250 centimeters below normal (15-145 centimeters below normal in the Ukrainian section of the river) in August.

"In Izmail, the fleet to Constanta is currently being loaded at a draft of 1.80 meters. The draft limit is 1.90 meters 280 kilometers into River Danube and 1.70 meters 390 kilometers into the river. Above Silistra, near the Luta shoal, our pushers are already unable to pass due to the lack of passable depths. The depths are currently only 1.20-1.30 meters," Moskalenko said.

"The water level in the Lower Danube is predicted to rise slightly by 10-15 centimeters in a few days, but it will be for a short period. The prospects for precipitation are in serious question. By all indications, the current period of shallow waters will be protracted and difficult," Moskalenko said, adding that this will mean financial losses for the UDP.

As reported earlier, the water levels in the River Rhine have dropped to the lowest level in 15 years due to a heatwave.