As Europe lives through a long, hot summer, one of the continent's major rivers is getting drier - posing major problems for the people and businesses that rely on it.
Low water levels on the Rhine River are threatening further problems for the German industry, which is troubled by high energy costs, disrupted supply chains and inflationary prices.
The water levels on the Rhine have recently continued to drop due to soaring hot temperatures and lack of rainfall in the region.
As some ships were unable to traverse the key waterway fully loaded, Transport Minister Volker Wissing called for the river to be dredged to allow for more freight to travel along it. Long term, he said it was necessary "to shift more traffic from road to rail and waterways."
He said that the planned dredging of the Rhine was the project from a recent German government study into long-term travel strategy "with the best cost-benefit ratio."
"We need to eliminate bottlenecks on the Rhine at certain points. We need the waterway," Wissing said. Completion of the "giant project" would take until the early 2030s, he said.
The investment would amount to about €180 million (roughly $183 million), of which around 40% would be for accompanying ecological measures.
As transport minister in Rhineland-Palatinate, Wissing had already campaigned for the deepening of the Rhine between St. Goar and Mainz. This would allow ships to carry around 200 tons more of cargo. "That's equivalent to 10 to 15 loaded trucks," he had said at the time.