Protecting Venice from high water levels

Protecting Venice from high water levels

Real-time decision support system offers valuable insights for efficient operation of MOSE flood barriers


Venice is a unique city known all over the world, listed as one of the UNESCO heritage sites since 1987. Situated on the extremity of a closed-off part of the Adriatic Sea, part of the Mediterranean Sea, the lagoon is frequently subjected to the encumbrance of fluctuations in water levels where high water periodically floods the piazzas, and low water that can obstruct navigation due to shallower canals. 



The protection of Venice from high water levels is a top priority. In that respect, the Italian Government initiated the MOSE (Modulo Sperimentale Elettromeccanico, Experimental Electromechanical Module) project to protect the city from flooding. The construction is made up of a complex system of 78 submerged gates which can be raised to separate the lagoon from the Adriatic Sea, in case of high water levels. ‘High-water events’ are defined as a water level higher than 110 cm in Venice city and 130 cm in Chioggia both with reference to local datum. Sea-level forecasting is a fundamental task for properly operating the gates and safeguarding the ancient city.



To support the operations at the MOSE gates, a complex Decision Support System has been set up by 'Provveditorato Interregionale per le Opere Pubbliche' through 'Consorzio Venezia Nuova', based on MIKE Powered by DHI’s MIKE OPERATIONS. The system is mainly composed of:

  • specific procedures for multiple data collection, processing and storing
  • a wide range of numerical models based on MIKE Powered by DHI technology incorporating machine learning
  • a dedicated decision support system based on complex algorithms capable to forecast high water levels events and continuously update the data, defining the correct timing for closing and opening the gates
  • a wide range of tools for data as warning dissemination, including a specific web interface
  • an expert graphical user interface for the configuration of an advance management of the system



The implementation of DHI's solution has proven to be an effective measure in safeguarding Venice from high water levels, ensuring:

  • Accurate forecasts of high water levels events
  • Decision support for operating the MOSE gates
  • Automatic dissemination of information and warnings


Consorzio Venezia Nuova



Related SDG(s):

SDG 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development


Contact us

‘The MIKE-based decision support system provides a reliable support for our daily work at the MOSE control room.’

Ing. Stefano Libardo, MOSE Operations Room Manager
Consorzio Venezia Nuova

About our client

Consorzio Venezia Nuova is the concessionaire of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport for the implementation of measures to safeguard Venice and its lagoon. For more info, visit

How can we help?

With our global network of offices, we make sure you get the right answers to your local needs. Tell us about your water challenges and we will get back to you.