The rise and fall of river water levels is a constant, impacted by flooding and drought. It’s something those who work on or around the river contend with on a regular basis. This year, rivers throughout the Midwest region are experiencing record low water levels and natural relief through the winter may be minimal. As water levels drop, the channels in which ships and barges travel shrink in width and depth, creating difficulties for shipping commerce. The U.S. Coast Guard, Army Corps of Engineers and shipping industries are working together to adapt to the pressure of keeping the Mississippi River open for commerce and the public.