Flood protection in Venice: Moses against the sea

On Friday, half of the Italian Cabinet, under the leadership of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte from Rome to Venice. On the occasion of the first full test run of

Flood protection in Venice: Moses against the sea

On Friday, half of the Italian Cabinet, under the leadership of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte from Rome to Venice. On the occasion of the first full test run of the so-called Moses project, a controversial flood barrier for the lagoon city. For the first time, all of the 78 mobile flood gates up should be done and the three Connections between the lagoon and the open sea is entirely closed. The Test began with a very unspectacular process – the press of a button on a Laptop, which was connected with the control of the system.

Matthias Rüb

Political correspondent for Italy, the Vatican, Albania and Malta, based in Rome.

F. A. Z.

the First plans for the construction of an artificial barrier in the three rounds of the Adriatic sea in the lagoon there were already a half-century after, on 4.November 1966, the Acqua Alta (high water), the record of 194 centimeters, and the heaviest damage in the old city, is reached. Feasibility studies were published only in 1984 in order. At the time of the socialist Bettino Craxi ruled in Rome. Four years later, Craxis was then Deputy Gianni De Michelis, the Venetians, by and by, the first model for the high-water barrier, and baptized it on the common name, Modulo Sperimentale elettro meccanico (Electromechanical experimental module), abbreviated to Moses. De Michelis announced the completion of the historic project to 1995.

Craxi and De Michelis, should be sentenced to later be accused of taking a bribe to prison. Their crimes are not related with the Moses project, but like a bad Omen for the largest infrastructure of Italy projects since the end of the Second world war. The first ground-breaking ceremony for the major project the then Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi began in March 2003. With a completion date of 2016 was aiming for.

infographic of The high water protection programme "Mose" in Venice Enlarge

Meanwhile, around six billion euros installed. The political dispute, disputes before the court, and a monumental corruption scandal in which almost the entire political leadership of the city of Venice and of the Veneto Region was mixed up, delayed construction again and again. For five years the Work stood still.

protection in the coming high-water season

The test run on Friday head of the government, Conte promised that construction work would be completed by the autumn. Already this year, when the "high water season" in November and December, the streets of the old town re flooded threaten to Moses to offer protection. The full functionality of the project will then be achieved by the end of 2021.

the system will serve its purpose, ever, completely, doubt, however, many. The-ton flood gates made of steel are embedded in concrete boxes on the bottom of the sea, 20 meters wide and between 20 and 30 meters high. To lift to be pumped up to 3000 cubic meters of air in the hollow steel elements, after about 30 minutes they showed up fully. The elements are not perpendicular to the surface of the water, but in an inclination of 45 degrees. You should keep a level difference of up to two metres. After the decline of the flood the barrier will disappear back under the surface of the sea.

channels for larger cruise ships

In the years submerged steel elements, as well as to the brackets made of reinforced concrete, there are now some damage. Environmentalists are convinced, moreover, that because of the rise in sea level due to climate change, the investment is already too low. In addition, the dredging of channels for larger cruise ships have led to a sea-water encroaching, even with light flooding in the city.

Updated Date: 10 July 2020, 16:19

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