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With all of the rain Central Missouri has received over the past week, it may be hard to believe drought conditions on the northern sections of the Missouri River have led the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to reduce the navigation season on the river by one month.

Per the river system storage check Thursday, and as outlined in the Corps' river operations manual, the service level to support navigation will be reduced 1,500 cubic feet per second from Gavins Point Dam in South Dakota. That means the river navigation season will be eight months instead of nine, ending Dec. 1 at the mouth in St. Louis.

With drought conditions continuing in the upper Missouri River basin, Corps officials said reducing navigation is a necessary water conservation measure to ensure continued service to all of the authorized purposes of the river for the short and long term.

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