The canals of Venice dry up due to drought and low tide

A gondola was filmed in a canal during steep low tide in the beach city of Venice
Manuel Silvestri/Reuters

  • Reuters reports that the canals in Venice have been greatly reduced by drought and low tide.
  • The photos show floor taxis and gondolas lowered into the bottom of the canals.
  • Normally, Venice faces the opposite problem, having experienced a historic flood in 2019.

Unusually low tides and dry conditions in Italy have dried up the canals of its famous water city, Venice. Reuters reported.

Boats are pictured in a canal during extreme low tide in Venice, Italy, February 17, 2023
Manuel Silvestri/Reuters

A series of images of the city on Friday show some of the smaller canals with little water in them, grounding the city’s famous gondolas and water taxis and newly revealing the foundations of buildings.

A gondola in a canal during a severe low tide in Venice on February 17, 2023
Manuel Silvestri/Reuters

In the larger canals that serve as the city’s main ‘highways’, muddy steps that would normally be underwater are now visible, with the bases of wooden guide posts exposed.

Reuters reported that water ambulances, which are part of the city’s emergency services, were also unable to access some roads.

A fireboat and gondola pass through a canal during very low tide in the beach city of Venice
Manuel Silvestri/Reuters

Normally, Venice needs protection from the opposite problem: flooding, as we saw in 2019 when the waters of the “floating city” rose to their highest levels in 50 years.

Tourists walk in Saint Mark’s Square after days of severe flooding in Venice, Italy, November 16, 2019.
Photograph: Manuel Silvestri/Reuters

Reuters reports that many of the issues are being blamed on the current unusually dry conditions, including tides, ocean currents and the full moon.

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Boats are pictured in a canal during sharp low tide in Venice on February 17, 2023
Manuel Silvestri/Reuters

It also comes with a name Legambiente environmental group raised the alarm On the long-term drought conditions in northern Italy.

A view of a gondola in a canal during a severe low tide in Venice, February 17, 2023.
Manuel Silvestri/Reuters

According to the group, the Alps received 53% less snow during the winter, while the Po River – which serves most of northern Italy – had 61% less water than usual.

Gondolas were filmed in the Grand Canal during very low tide in the beach city of Venice
Manuel Silvestri/Reuters

Italy declared a state of emergency in the agricultural regions served by the Po River last year.

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