Assessing the Efficacy of Venice’s MOSE Barrier System in Preventing Flood Damage Amid Rising Sea Levels



As Venice continues to grapple with the threat of rising sea levels and frequent flooding, the city employs the MOSE barrier system to protect its historical architecture and the lagoon’s delicate ecosystem. The system has been used over 50 times since its implementation, showing effectiveness in preventing major floods, such as the one on November 22nd, 2022. However, experts warn that MOSE may only be a temporary solution, as continuous use could disrupt the lagoon’s natural water exchange and long-term sea level rise may outpace the system’s capabilities.

  • The MOSE barrier system has been instrumental in preventing floods in Venice, including a significant event on November 22nd, 2022.
  • MOSE has been activated over 50 times to date and can be used partially to maintain the water exchange between the sea and the lagoon.
  • Climate experts predict a sea-level rise of up to 6cm by the end of the century, questioning the long-term efficacy of MOSE.
  • Extended use of the MOSE system could have adverse effects on the lagoon’s ecosystem by interrupting the natural cycle between the sea and the lagoon.
  • Raising Piazza San Marco is a project underway to protect it from flooding, which would be effective up to a water rise of 110cm.
  • Groundwater replenishment is suggested as a potential method to raise Venice by 30cm, offsetting the sinking caused by excessive groundwater pumping in the past.
  • Ultimately, Venice faces a tough decision on whether to preserve the city or the lagoon, as both may not be possible to save in the long run.

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