Extreme flooding occurs in Venice

By Amelia Riley

Between the months of October and January every year, parts of Venice experience extreme flooding, known as “acqua alta”, or “high water.”

The city of Venice is made up of smaller islands connected by bridges. When strong winds conflict with high tides, water from the nearby Adriatic Sea flows into the lagoon, causing flooding. Typically only 10% of Venice is flooded during the acqua alta.

Many tourists can be seen waging through the water and sitting at flooded cafes with makeshift rain boots on.

According to a study published by the European Geosciences Union, the worst-case scenario for sea level rise in Venice by the end of the century is three feet, 11 inches.

Forecast by the United Nations science panel, that is 50% higher than global worst-case sea-rise average of two feet, seven and a half inches.

Venice’s defense has been entrusted to the Moses system of moveable underwater barriers. After decades of cost overruns, delays and a bribery scandal, the 6 billion euro project is still officially in the testing phase.

The Rome government put the project under ministry control after the devastation of the 2019 floods, in order to speed its completion and start activating the barriers when floods of four feet, three inches were imminent.

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