Barges are docked along the Mississippi River. The 2012 drought has left the river 12 feet below its normal level in parts, choking barge traffic and making navigation dangerous. (CBS)
ST. LOUIS (AP) _ Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon and the barge industry are imploring the federal government to keep water flowing on the Missouri and Mississippi rivers or face potential ``economic disaster.''
The drought has left many waterways at historic lows. Nixon sent a letter Friday urging the Army Corps of Engineers to rethink plans to reduce the amount of water released from the Missouri's upstream reservoir. That would also reduce flow on the Mississippi below St. Louis.
Nixon says the move could create an ``economic disaster.'' Meanwhile, the American Waterways Operators and Waterways Council last week urged Congress and President Barack Obama to act to keep the water flowing.
The Corps said last week that the reduction is the first of several drought conservation measures necessary if drought conditions continue into 2013.