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Scientists map hidden waterways under Naples » Yale Climate Connections


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A vast network of waterways lies hidden under Naples, Italy, including aqueducts that were built when the ancient Greeks colonized the area.

“They are waterways or aqueducts that were constructed during that period and also during Roman times,” says Nick De Pace. “There are also streams and other waterways that were developed over time to guide the watershed … so it’s kind of a world of water there.”

De Pace is a collaborator with the Cool Cities project. His team is using laser technology to map the hidden waterways under Naples.

“That water is not refuse,” he says. “That water coming from high streams and from Roman aqueducts and so forth could be rerouted and reused for the sake of cooling the city rather than being thrown directly into a wastewater system.”

Cities heat up faster than the surrounding region because buildings and streets absorb heat. But trees, plants, and water provide cooling, so adding parks and features such as fountains could help make the city cooler as the climate warms.

De Pace says the water available under the city could be brought to the surface and used for cooling. And the Cool Cities mapping project is laying the groundwork.

“So it’s basically a matter of identifying and coveting those water resources,” he says.

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media



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