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CIRCULAR 47/2023 - Parana River low waters (Update)

24th March 2023

In previous Circulars we have informed about the critical situation observed on the Parana River due to historically low water (see Circulars 23, 26, 28, 32, 42 and 43 for further information).

According to the last monthly report issued by our National Institute of the Water, in March 20203 the effect of La Niña phenomenon weakened and a transition to a neutral effect is expected in the southern autumn. The rain forecast for the current trimester (March to May 2023) is normal to deficient.

Overall, for the Parana River, it is expected that the flow would fluctuate in the range of average/average low, with a slight descendent tendency but still above the values recorded in the same period during the preceding years influenced by the increase observed in the Paraguay River and the Alto Parana and the regulation of the dams in the latter area.

As an example, if we take the port of Rosario: the heigh of the river recorded (22 March) was +3.18m compared to the historical average of +3.50M. The level records in the past year indicates that one year ago the level of the water at Rosario was +0.57m (above local zero) whereas on 24 March  was +3.25m. The lowest levels were seen this year in January reaching +0.04m on 16 January 2023. As mentioned in the Institute of Water reports, between February and March the water recovered due to the condition of the Paraguay River and Alto Parana, including the dams, and the forecast is tending to deficient rains and water remaining between average to low with a decreasing tendency for the second trimester of the year.

As a further illustration of the situation, on 24 March 2023 the minimum effective depth to reach/depart Rosario port  was 11.62m (ie. 11.02m max. sailing draft) compared to the 11.29m (ie. 10.69m max sailing draft) recorded on the same date in 2019 prior to the extraordinary low water situation. This will tend to decrease, overall, in the following three months according to the forecasts.

We furthermore recommend to the Master to enquiry the Pilots as to the relevant regulation within the area to be transited, including specific speed limits and to bear in mind, at all times, ship’s squat effect, to minimise risks of groundings, wash damages and fines.

In respect of the speed, we would suggest to watch the applicable limitations closely as this must be complied with to avoid Administrative Enquiries and sanctions by the Coast Guards who are monitoring the speed actively through VTS (Please refer to our Circular 36/2020 as updated).

We shall continue monitoring the situation, keeping you posted. In the meantime, we remain at your disposal if clarification and/or additional information is needed.

Download CIRCULAR 47/2023



This Circular updates Circulars 23, 26, 28, 32, 42 and 43. 

Notice: the content of this circular is for information only. Even though it has been issued carefully, and to the best of our knowledge, it has a general purpose and we can accept no liability whatsoever for any particular action taken upon it. © Pandi Liquidadores SRL. All rights reserved.