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