Venice, Italy, is known for its intricate system of canals, famously navigated by gondolas and water taxis.
But a series of unfortunate weather events have left many of these channels low and dry.
Great opportunity to dredge and clean the canals and repair infrastructure. This is usually a complicated and messy task, but will be temporarily easier with the water levels #AcquaBassa. See where the relative water level once was. pic.twitter.com/maeHJEY6L7
— Nate Cochrane (@natecochrane) February 21, 2023
A drought, a high-pressure system, and ocean currents have left the normally flooding canals running low, wreaking havoc on the city’s transportation system.
The drought is caused by higher than normal temperatures, low rainfall and less snow than normal in the north.
“We are in a water shortage situation that has been building up since the winter of 2020-2021,” said climate expert Massimiliano Pasqui of the Italian scientific research institute CNR. told Corriere della Sera newspaper. “We need 50 days of rain.”
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Photo by Stefano Mazzola/Getty Images
The consequences of the low water levels can be seen all over Venice. The photos show gondolas, usually navigating the water piloted by gondoliers, stranded in mud pits.
And it’s not just the tourists who are suffering. Reuters reported that that water ambulances, which are part of the city’s emergency services, are also unable to access some routes.
The good news: the latest weather forecasts say much-needed precipitation and snow are expected soon in the Northern Alps, which supply Venice with water.