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In Brazil's Amazon, rivers fall to record low levels during drought

In Brazil's Amazon, rivers fall to record low levels during drought

The Negro River, the Amazon's second largest tributary, has reached its lowest level since official measurements began near Manaus 121 years ago

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — The Negro River, the Amazon’s second largest tributary, on Monday reached its lowest level since official measurements began near Manaus 121 years ago. The record confirms that this part of the world´s largest rainforest is suffering its worst drought, just a little over two years after its most significant flooding.

In the morning, the water level in the city´s port went as low as 13.5 meters (44.3 feet), down from 30.02 meters (98.5 feet) registered in June 2021 — its highest level on record. The Negro River drains about 10% of the Amazon basin and is the world's sixth largest by water volume.

Madeira River, another main tributary of the Amazon, has also recorded historically low levels, causing the halt of the Santo Antonio hydroelectric dam, Brazil´s fourth largest.

Throughout Brazil´s Amazon, low river levels have left hundreds of riverine communities isolated and struggling to get access to drinkable water. The drought also has disrupted commercial navigation that supplies Manaus, a city of 2 million with a large industrial park.