Blog Junky
a group blog for the political omnivore (objective and equitable)

Thursday, May 15, 2003  

Seems like a good time for something completely different:

The Flood Gates of Venice
A watery jewel in Italy's gem-studded crown, Venice is no stranger to the problems of high tides. After almost four decades of debate, the fragile city is to be equipped with 21st century flood gates.

Constructed on millions of wooden piles pounded into marshy ground, Venice was never a risk-free zone, but flooding was very rare until the mid-1900s. Since then, the acqua alta have been gradually but steadily increasing, both in number and in depth, and last year the city of gondolas recorded its worst swamping ever.

There are various theories surrounding the sinking of the city, but scientists say the greatest contributing factor dates back to the 19th century when the British occupiers carved out the lagoon to enable ships to pass through on their way to port. The effect of this early engineering was to drastically shift currents, removing the natural barrier for high tides, leaving them to hurtle in and suck out the very sediment which creates the foundation of the city as they retreat.

Now that I think about it, the root cause sounds a little like some US liberal's approach to our economy...maybe there ARE lessons to be learned from Europe.

via Deutsche Welle

posted by Chimera | 9:12 AM

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