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 "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 Missouri's upstream reservoir. That also would reduce flow on the Mississippi below St. Louis.
Nixon said 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 conservation measures necessary if drought conditions continue into 2013.