The flooding city of Venice has plenty of water, or so you would think.
Parts of the city are flooded each year, including St Mark’s Square, but whilst they are sitting under water, about 90% of the land remains above.
However, the Alta Aqua (high water) now happens more frequently and more dramatically. Possibly more worryingly, the city also suffers from a lack of water. The low tides that now occur cause the wooden foundations of buildings to be exposed to the air, resulting in rotting.
Much of this is caused by changed management of the lagoon and waterways. Reclaiming of land, an increase in motorised transport (including massive cruise ships), and digging of trenches to make the lagoon deep enough to take large ships, have resulted in faster incoming tides and greater wash.
Global warming is taking its toll too. A recent study by the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA) predicts a 140cm level rise in the Mediterranean by 2100, resulting in the swamping of Venice and a large stretch of the northern Adriatic coast. Let us hope this is wrong, and that we are able to make enough changes to our environmental impact to prevent these losses.
For more on the battle to remove the cruise ships, see a post I wrote a few years ago but have updated a couple of times.
Copyright Debbie Smyth, 2 January 2018
Posted as part of Cee’s B&W Challenge