As Venice works on the €5.4 billion 'Mose' floodgate to counteract the eventual effects of rising sea levels, they face an interim problem of record low water levels.
The exceptionally water levels have been caused by abnormal tides this year, combined with drastically reduced winter precipitation rates across northeastern Italy... The drop in water levels has prevented some of the city's gondolas and vaporetti, or water buses, from navigating in some of the smaller canals. On Christmas Eve, the low tide even grounded the mayor's speedboat.The low water is exposing the city's less attractive underside: garbage and crumbling infrastructure. And I'll bet it's fragrant:
Historically, all waste produced by humans have been dumped into the canals although larger buildings are required to carry some kind of sewage treatment before dumping the filthy stuff into the canals. Some palazzos have their own septic tanks but there is always a certain amount of leakage, lending Venice its characteristic and at times overpowering stench.The scavenger in me, however, imagines the excellent opportunity for mudlarking.
Think of the generations of artifacts that have been lost into the canals, the wedding rings tossed away, the rings and brooches. But it looks like mostly forks.
Related: Mudlarking and Love tokens retrieved from the mud of the Thames.