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For the second year in a row, low tides in Venice have sunk to such record levels that it has left the city almost entirely without water. Visitors who came to the city expecting to ride gondolas through the city’s famous blue-green canals have found their plans foiled, as without water many of the city’s primary transport have been left grounded on the canals’ muddy beds.

The exceptionally low water levels have been caused by abnormal tides this year, combined with drastically reduced rainfall across northeastern Italy. Although low tides are common around this time of the year, this year the water levels have gone down some 70 cm below average. The phenomenon is surprising given that Venice is slowly sinking and floods are a more common feature of the city today than low tides.

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