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Published: Tue 28 Aug 2012 at 10:13
Updated: Tue 28 Aug 2012 at 10:16
Venice has long been a major tourist destination, but rising water levels in recent years have put the city under threat. The sight of the city's grand squares flooded with seawater has put fear into many a fond traveller's heart, but a new plan to inject seawater into wells around the city could be the answer.
The threat of flooding has been with Venice for some time. Although the city has been sinking at a steady rate of around two inches a century, between 1950 and 1970 a sudden drop of five inches was experienced after groundwater was tapped for industry. At the moment, the city has its lower portions submerged around four times a year, when tides are particularly high.
This phenomenon could be halted by the new plan, which would see thousands of litres of seawater pumped into the ground below the city. The water should expand the clay, halting the sinking. With luck, tourists hopping on cheap flights to Venice in the next ten years may be the last to experience the startling floods.
The technique, which has in the past been used by oil and gas companies, has had success in other areas. Sites in the US, Canada, Japan and several other countries have been host to subsurface injections with some success.
The plan should come as a relief to Venice's booming tourism industry. With cheap flights to Venice making the city more accessible than ever with companies such as Jet2.com, it's doubtful that the destination's popularity is under any threat of sinking.