Drought-stricken Midwestern states are already squabbling over rights to water in the region's rivers. Now, the fight could be intensified by a new idea for diverting water from the Missouri River to help seven arid states in the West.
Politicians across the Midwest are continuing to press the President to declare a state of emergency on the Mississippi River to allow barge traffic to keep flowing.
Every year roughly $180 billion worth of freight makes its way up and down the river.
Now, a record shortage of water on the nation’s major inland waterways is expected to put upward pressure on everything from food items to electricity.
The drought effect
Updated 3:23 p.m. with statement from McCaskill
Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri says if the Army Corps of Engineers doesn’t increase water flow from the upper Missouri River the next move may be to ask the president to step in.
The Corps began reducing the outflow from a dam in South Dakota on Friday.
That means less water for the already-low Mississippi River, which could lead to restrictions or even a halt on barge traffic by mid-December.
Senator Blunt says transportation down the river could be severely impacted if nothing is done.
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