Drought: The canals in Venice are drying up

Italy has been suffering from extreme drought for weeks, with almost no rain falling. The extent of the drought is particularly evident in Venice: numerous canals in the lagoon city have dried up.

In November, after heavy rainfall, Venice was still fighting the flooding of the old town, which fortunately could be averted thanks to the Moses flood protection system. Currently, however, the lagoon city is showing itself from a completely different side. Because it hasn’t rained for weeks, many canals have dried up and can no longer be navigated. Due to the weather conditions, it is not uncommon for less precipitation to fall than usual at this time of the year. Venice has not had such a long period of drought for a long time.

“Up until the 15th of the month, the region had an average of 0.5 millimeters of precipitation, while the average (1994-2022) is 60 millimeters and the average for the first half of February is 48 millimeters,” quotes the Italian daily Il Resto del Carlino” the Venetian environmental protection agency Arpav. A new low of -70 centimeters above the zero level was reached on Monday afternoon.

High air pressure means little precipitation

Tides that reach or exceed values of -50 centimeters are referred to as “extraordinary low tides”. The extraordinary low water is due to the high air pressure that has prevailed over Italy and much of Europe for days. Other regions of Italy are also struggling with the consequences of the drought. For example, the level of Lake Garda continues to fall, which has led to drastic measures.

In Venice, the drought still has an advantage: As the city announced, the gondoliers are taking care of collecting and disposing of the waste from the dry bottom of the canals these days. And there, a lot has come together, especially due to the many tourists and the carnival that has just passed.


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