Italy drought: Vatican switches off fountains in show of solidarity

Michele Moreno
July 26, 2017

Vatican Radio said all of Vatican City's fountains will go dry, including those in its gardens, to help save water.

All fountains in the Vatican City State, including those in St Peter's Square, have been turned off in response to the water shortages that are plaguing Rome, Vatican Radio reported.

(CNN) - The Vatican has made a decision to turn off its famous fountains for the first time in living memory as hot dry weather triggers severe water shortages across Italy.

Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said it was the first time the Vatican could recall turning off all of its fountains and reflected Pope Francis' views on the environment. A state of emergency has been declared in northern Italy, and Rome has already switched off its drinking fountains.

"This decision is very much in line with the pope's thinking on ecology", Burke said.

The drought in Rome has also forced the authorities to shut off drinking fountains.

Dairy farmers and those growing olives, tomatoes and wine grapes are among the most affected, farmers' association Coldiretti warns.

Rome had 26 days of rain during the first six months of this year, compared to 88 in the same period of 2016.

As the sizzling heatwave continues, the Acea utility company has warned of drastic water rationing in Rome, which faces eight hours a day without running water after Zingaretti's order.

'This is the Vatican's way of living solidarity with Rome, trying to help Rome get through this crisis, ' he said.

Some 300 of the city's famous "big nose" public fountains - so called due to their shape - have already been turned off and more will follow.

Other reports by Insurance News

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