Injections Could Lift Venice 12 Inches, Study Suggests
Twelve wells to "inflate" city's foundations 12 inches over ten years?
(Read "Charlie Chaplin's Venice" from the new issue of National Geographic Traveler.)
Known to Venetians as the acqua alta, or "high water," flooding driven by high tides submerges the lowest 14 percent of the Italian destination four times a year, on average (interactive map of Venice's flood zones).
And it's only getting worse.
Venice dropped about 5 inches (12 centimeters) between 1950 and 1970, when groundwater was pumped out for industrial uses, according to city data. Currently, though, the city is sinking at a rate of less than two inches (five centimeters) a century, according to a 2002 study in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
But even as Venice's descent slows, the surrounding Adriatic Sea is swelling—with the average local sea