The smaller back canals could be the first to dry up completely, Source: Depositphotos

Winter drought puts in question future existence of Venice canals

Winter drought puts in question future existence of Venice canals

Many of the iconic watery thoroughfares have already become muddy troughs and summer hasn’t even arrived yet

The drought that battered Western Europe in the summer of 2022 seems to have returned for a winter edition replete with sunny skies and unusually balmy temperatures for that time of the year. Although, on one hand, this has alleviated the energy poverty fears that had plagued Europeans in light of the fuel crisis connected to the war in Ukraine, on the other, it has only confirmed other fears that we’re already suffering the effects of climate change.

Case in point: the city of Venice and its iconic canals. Rather than the usual problem with flooding, this winter has brought on the sight of dry canal beds and gondolas stuck in the mud.

Apparently, experts point out that the problems in Venice are due to a combination of factors - the lack of rain, high atmospheric pressure, the full moon and sea currents.

Will the north of Italy suffer two summers in a row?

The unusually mild winter could only spell trouble for the upcoming summer, and this is already weighing on people’s minds. Last summer, the Italian government had to declare a state of emergency due to the prolonged heatwave, which caused the levels of the major water artery, the Po River to drop dangerously low.

And now, despite being winter the situation is just as bad, as the Po has 61% less water than it normally does at this time of the year. That is caused by the lack of sufficient snow coverage in the Alps.

We are in a water deficit situation that has been building up since the winter of 2020-2021,” climate expert Massimiliano Pasqui from the Italian scientific research institute CNR was quoted as saying by Corriere della Sera.

He added: “We need to recover 500mm in the north-western regions: we need 50 days of rain.



Growing City


Smart City


Green City


Social City


New European Bauhaus




ECP 2021 Winner TheMayorEU