Flood Control - The MOSE Project

Venice, Italy - Jan. 24, 2008

Venice has a history of flooding that goes back hundreds of years. It is a city built on the water that has canals instead of roads and sits only centimeters above sea level in some places. It is also an incredibly popular city for tourism and boasts some of the richest history and architecture in Europe. Every time the city floods (which is numerous times every year), more damage is caused and when you factor in: rising sea levels, higher tides and the fact that the city is actually sinking... You end up needing a big solution for a big problem.

The MOSE construction project is designed to eliminate flooding in Venice when it is completed in 2012. It will involve a series of huge, submerged gates that will rise out of the water and block the rising water from entering the lagoon and flooding the city. There will be a row of these gates at all three lagoon entry points and each one will be underwater, invisible until the threat of high water arises. Once activated, the gates will have air pumped into them and this will cause them to rise up and block the flow. A few hours later, after the threat has passed, they will be lowed back down.




Venice & the Rialto Bridge.

Most of Venice is just above sea level.



A two man gondola team, practicing for a regatta.

Some of the sights that Venice is famous for.



Rows of gondolas waiting for passengers along the grand canal.

There are no cars in Venice, the only way around is by boat on the numerous canals.



San Marco Square, with its famous pigeons.

Filming in Venice is great but it has its own perils.


The MOSE Construction Site
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This area is where the immense water barriers are going to be constructed, then floated into position.

The construction is happening simultaneously in all 3 of the lagoon inlets.

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The gates will lie underneath the water and will be invisible. They will only be raised whenever there is a risk of flooding in the city.

A man made island that lies between two sets of flood barriers at the Lido entryway.

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Most of the work on the MOSE project is done by boat.

Dredging the lagoon to prepare for the installation of the flood barriers.