GOOD

Oh, irony. You are having quite a day.

The Italian region of Veneto, which includes the city of Venice, is currently experiencing historic flooding. Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro has stated that the flooding is a direct result of climate change, with the tide measuring the highest level in 50 years. The city (which is actually a collection of 100 islands in a lagoon—hence its famous canal streets), is no stranger to regular flooding, but is currently on the brink of declaring a state of emergency as waters refuse to recede.

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The Planet

A Flood of Good Intentions in Senegal

Local architects and engineers devised a way to use destructive coastal rains to water gardens and reservoirs.

Flooding in Dakar, Senegal. Photo by MyriamLouviot via Wikimedia Commons

Every year, torrential floods thrash the coastal towns of Senegal. The waters have grown increasingly erratic and disastrous since the 1970s for a host of reasons. In bad years (like 2009) they’ve caused over $100 million in damages to the capital of Dakar alone, affecting hundreds of thousands of people with property damages, waterborne diseases, and dislocation. Although Senegal has a better track record than many of its neighbors in terms of infrastructure and government works, local authorities still scramble to respond to these deluges, assembling ad hoc parties to dig emergency canals and raising last-minute funds. Yet while officials and aid workers struggle year after year to dry out waterlogged towns, a group of local architects have devised a way to turn their floodwaters into an asset, channeling them into beautifying, moneymaking communal gardens, and greening up areas that are ironically parched for the bulk of the year.

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Articles

New Technology Could Predict Floods Days in Advance

A collaborative project from IBM and UT Austin might be the answer to escaping deadly floods, America's most common natural disaster.


Earlier this week, we told you about a new iPhone app that alerts users when earthquakes are coming, a timely release in light of recent quakes in Japan and America's East Coast. Now comes even more technology to help humans finally defeat natural disasters: Researchers from IBM and the University of Texas at Austin say they have devised a way to predict floods, America's most common natural disaster.

Using advanced analytics software and weather simulation models, the researchers were able to accurately predict the movements of Texas' Guadalupe River at more than 100 times the normal speed. The difference between this new technology and past flood prediction systems is that past systems have focused solely on the main body of the river, ignoring the tributaries where flooding often begins.

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Articles

New NASA Images Show Pakistan Still Needs Our Help

Satellite images show that the flood crisis in Pakistan is still far from over-but you can still help.

While it may not be showing up in the "A" section of the newspaper anymore, new satellite images from NASA show that much of Pakistan is still flooded, and the crisis is far from over.

First, here's what the area looks like this time in a "relatively normal" year, from October 11, 2009:

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Articles

No man can move mountains, but our President just might move the nation's largest river.

File under: whoa.

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Articles