Unusually low water levels in Argentina’s Hydrovia waterways

Steamship has informed its members that  the Hydrovia (or Hidrovia) waterways in Argentina, had been showing unusually low water levels, resulting in an increased risk of vessels going aground if proper precautions are not taken, especially during the High Transit Season.

At the basin of the Iguazú River, the entire basin has been suffering dry conditions and persistent ebb. The reservoirs of the midstream are at far lower levels than usual. The discharges are at the lowest figures for 40 years registered at this time of year. At the entrance of the river to Argentina (Andresito), the water level fluctuates around 300 m3/s. The monthly average of the last 25 years has been 1,700 m3/s. Club Correspondent Pandi Liquidadores stressed that the weather trends were not favourable, so one could not expect a fast recovery of the flow on the lower section of the river towards Cataratas. The current weather forecast does not show any chance of significant rains over the flash flood basin. No appreciable recovery in the near term is currently foreseen

The Paraná River on the Paraguayan – Argentine section is showing unusual ebb At the confluence of the Paraná – Iguazú last week the flow averaged around 7,550 m3/s, down to about 6,800 m3/s late last week. The weather forecast does not show any chance of a quick recovery.

Paraná River – Argentine territory showed significant ebb.

At Corrientes the ebb was stabilizing at the Paraná – Paraguay confluence. The maximum level was of 1.30m and the minimum of 1.19m, the lowest since 1971.

At Goya the drop during the week was 0.28, fluctuating around 1.20m.

At La Paz a strong drop continued with a weekly variation of 0.53m, down to 1.33m.

At Santa Fe the level had fallen by 0.75m since March 29th, down to 1.2m by late last week.

At Rosario there was a drop of 0.52m during the week to 0.97m by week-end, the lowest since May 2009

Steamship said that it had experienced many incidents in the past of groundings or other navigational incidents in these waterways. It said that such occurrences could give rise to substantial claims.

Members were requested to direct their masters navigating the rivers of Argentina i.e. Hydrovia, to take appropriate precautions and to take advice from the Coast Guard through its VTS Centres when transiting the affected waterways.