Engineer Explores Innovative Solutions to Combat Venice’s Increasing Flooding Challenges

Engineer Giovanni Cecconi discusses possible engineering solutions to save Venice from its worsening flooding problem. With the city experiencing an increase in flood events over the years due to rising sea levels and land subsidence, the video highlights the operational MOSE barriers as the current defense mechanism and explores future options, such as re-inflating the ground beneath Venice and constructing a super levee to protect the city.

  • Venice is facing an increasing frequency of floods, with St. Mark’s Square now flooding 250 times a year, up from 40 times historically.
  • The MOSE barriers are a $6 billion storm surge gate system designed to protect Venice from high tides.
  • MOSE barriers can maintain a water level difference of about 10 feet between the sea and the lagoon.
  • Since the barriers trap water, Venice’s sewage system, which relies on tides for flushing, faces challenges when the gates are raised.
  • Sea level rise and Venice’s subsidence, which has totaled six inches over the last century, are major concerns for the long-term effectiveness of the MOSE system.
  • Scientists propose lifting the city by injecting water underground, a technique that has seen success in Long Beach, California.
  • However, uneven displacement could damage Venice’s ancient structures, and this solution would require ongoing maintenance.
  • An alternative solution is building a super levee, which would be more resilient to overflows and seepage than traditional levees.
  • The super levee would also serve as infrastructure space, potentially easing the tourist pressure on the city’s historical areas.
  • Constructing the super levee would need public approval and changes to laws, considering past issues with corruption and delays in the MOSE project.
  • Venice continues to adapt with measures like glass barriers to protect monuments, raised walkways, and Venetians using waders during floods.

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