The Mississippi River Is Drying Up With Dangerous Economic Consequences

Drying Mississippi River Threatens U.S. Supply Chain – The Wall Street Journal

The Mississippi River is at its lowest level in decades, affecting everything from shipping to drinking water along the nation’s second-longest river. The impacts won’t be felt just by people living and working along the 2,350-mile-long river.

Residents in Vicksburg, western Mississippi, have seen less than an inch of rain since the start of September. The recent drought has caused shipping delays and increased costs of alternative transport.

The Mississippi River Basin produces 92% of U.S. agricultural exports and 78% of the world’s exports in feed grains and soybeans, and is used to ship other products like fertilizer, coal, oil and petroleum and metals. Low water levels have caused barges to run aground, increasing shipping costs.

The US Coast Guard said that more than 2,000 barges were halted at various points last Friday due to low water levels. The halted barges were carrying recently harvested corn and soybeans, essential crops that were still in transit.

Barges are a sustainable and cost-effective alternative to rail and trucks for moving cargo. They can move one ton of freight 29% further than a rail car and four times further than a truck. TO help alleviate the problem, the US army corps of engineers is dredging the Mississippi River from New Orleans to Baton Rouge.

Find out more about the detrimental impact of the low Mississippi water levels by checking out the news outlets that are listed below.

John Nightbridge is a veteran reporter, researcher, and economic policy major from UCLA. Passionate about world issues and potential ways to solve them is a significant focus of his work. Writing freelance and reading the news are John's passions at work. Outside of work, it's all about sky diving, surfing, and stock market modeling.