It is a $7bn government-funded scheme, to save the magnificent city Venice, the pride of all Italy.

Venice is a city on stilts. Built on 117 small islands in the middle of a lagoon, that flows into the Adriatic Sea. Venice has sunk around 23cm into the surrounding lagoon during the past 100 years and high waters are submerging the city's streets and piazzas with increasing frequency.

This huge responsibility of keeping Venice from drowning, is on the shoulders of the Consorzio Venezia Nuova (CVN), a private consortium of engineers and architects. The CVN's solution to this problem,is the Mo.S.E. (Modulo Sperimentale Elettromeccanico or Experimental Electromechanical Module) Project. It involves the construction of a set of 79 mobile floodgates. These steel barriers are up to five metres wide and 28 metres high.

These 300-ton gates are designed to lie flat on the seabed, to let normal tides in and out. They are inactive, filled with water and hidden from view. When a tide of one meter is forecast, air will be injected into these gates, pushing out the water and causing the gates to rise. As a result the gates will separate the lagoon from the Adriatic sea. As the tide drops, the gates will be refilled with water and return to rest on the seabed.

There were fears that closing the lagoon for long periods will cause it to stagnate, thus damaging marine life. To overcome such environmental challenges many new complementary projects were implemented by the CVN to defend the city.

Posted by M Hunt on Saturday, August 23, 2008. Filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

1 comments for "MOSES"

  1. I believe that there are some myths in connection with the MOSE project in Venice. Let me clarifie them:

    Myth #1. The mobile flood gates help preventing Venice from drowning.

    No, they don't. They can reduce Aquae altae, short time floodings, but do not prevent Venice from drowning.

    A lot of measures would be needed for such an objective, and the money would have been available. But the money is being drowned too: in the MOSE project.

    Myth #2: The "Consorzio Venezia Nuova" is a group of integer companies bringing their resources together and focussing on the welfare of Venice, a city in peril.

    The truth: It is a group of Italian companies that drain off the money which is available and needed to save Venice and abuse it for their crazy and failing project.

    Myth #3: Consorzio Venezia Nuova is prepared to discus this huge project publicly with the goal to develop the best for Venice and Italy.

    The truth is in fact a warning: Don't ever propose to them that they should have a code of conduct for the members of the consortium and its contractors to prove their integrity.

    Nothing more, no mention of corruption or Mafia-like structures. Just a published proposal.

    They will sue you for that and claim Millions at a court.

    You don't believe that this can be true? It has already happened, the case is still going on in Milan, and it is a clear sign of the true character of the Consorzio.

    Why? Because it is mainly the greedy and corrupt people who do not respect freedom of opinion and press.

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