Paraguayan authorities have reported the Paraguay River is merely 9 centimeters from its all-time low as it dropped yet another 3 centimeters Friday in Asunción.
Friday's measurements at the port of the Paraguayan capital yielded a result of -0.45 m and, if the trend is not reversed, the historical record of 54 centimeters below the hydrometric zero could be surpassed.
Navigability is already minimal, which, coupled with a similar process at the Paraná River, has a significant impact on foreign trade. According to Paraguayan forecasts, the La Niña phenomenon could continue, causing more drought throughout South America. Paraguay has one of the most important barge fleets in the world and with these types of situations millionaire losses occur.
In October last year, the Paraguay River registered historical levels of decline after 51 years, with a drop of -0.54 meters (below the hydrometric zero).
Paraguay's Center of Fluvial and Maritime Shipowners (CAFyM) has warned it is the fourth consecutive year the sector suffers from the significant downstream of rivers.
This phenomenon may soon have consequences in the availability of fuel, since ships may carry only 50% and 60% load.
Meanwhile, Argentine authorities in the Paraguay bordering province of Formosa have forecast rains for late September or early October.
Eduardo Escalada, head of the Coast Guard's (Prefectura Naval) Formosa base, had said earlier this month that we are waiting for the rains that we need for the second half of this month or the first week of October.
Escalada had based his assessments on data from the National Water Institute (INA).
The naval officer had also recalled that last year the Paraguay River had reached -50 centimeters of water.