Vatican turns off fountains amid drought in Rome

Vatican turns off fountains amid drought in Rome

On June 23, it was reported that several areas of Italy, including the Po valley in the north and the capital city of Rome, were struggling with water shortages amid a heatwave.

The Vatican has turned off its fountains, including its famous waterworks in St. Peters's Square, for the first time in recent memory as a severe drought hits parts of Italy.

It's decision follows that of the separate Rome authorities, who have also begun to turn off some of the 2,500 drinking fountains that give the eternal city its character, as well as quenching people's thirsts in the hot summer months, a spokesman for Acea, the utility firm which runs Rome's water system, told CNN.

The move is in line with the teachings of Pope Francis in his Encyclical on creation Laudate Si. These are just two of the 100 fountains the Vatican has turned off.

The dry basins of the two fountains by 17th-century sculptors Carlo Maderno and Gian Lorenzo Bernini are symbolic of a period of sweltering temperatures which has devastated farms and forced Rome to consider water rationing.

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The drought had affected many other areas of Italy.

According to news sources, a water rationing strategy could soon be enforced in the city.

Italy has experienced one of its driest springs in 60 years, and it's costing the country's farmers billions of dollars.

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

The governor of the Lazio region surrounding Rome, Nicola Zingaretti, has ordered no more water to be drawn from nearby Lake Bracciano, whose decreasing water levels are threatening its aquatic life.

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