New Flood Protection System Tested in Venice, Italy

13.11.2013

The Italian government tests the new system of flood protection that bears a symbolic name of MOSE, or Moses in Italian. Actually, the name is not that romantic, it's an abbreviation for "Modulo Sperimentale Elettromeccanico", the Experimental Electromechanical Module. The system is designed to protect the ancient city from seasonal floodings, or aqua alto. This year the high water came unusually early, so the local authorities decided to take advantage of the situation. Cost of MOSE approaches 5.4 billion euros.

Aqua alto is a common thing in Venice, however, it might harm the magnificent buildings of the ancient city

MOSE is a system of 79 movable steel dams with a lifelong warranty of 100 years of use. They are installed at the three main channels that connect the Venice Lagoon and the Adriatic Sea. If sea-level rises up to 110 cm, the sluices would be filled with air replacing the water. Thus, the flow will not reach other Venetian canals and the water does not flood the city. Construction of flood protection systems started in 2003. It was originally planned to launch MOSE in 2014, but due to various delays the deadlines were posponed to 2017.