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Lack of Water in Europe’s Most Important River Starts to Bite

An oil and chemical tanker sails past dry banks on the Rhine River near Assmanshausen, Germany, on July 14.

An oil and chemical tanker sails past dry banks on the Rhine River near Assmanshausen, Germany, on July 14.

Photographer: Alex Kraus/Bloomberg

The flow of commodities to inland Europe is starting to buckle as water levels on the Rhine river continue to fall. 

The lack of water is contributing to oil product supply problems in Switzerland and preventing at least two power plants in Germany from getting all the coal they need. What’s more, the continent’s sizzling summer temperatures are forecast to climb even higher in the coming week.