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