Tags: drought | italy | vatican | fountains

Drought in Italy Causes Vatican to Turn Off Fountains

Image: Drought in Italy Causes Vatican to Turn Off Fountains

Fountains like this one near St. Peter Basilica in St Peter's Square, in Vatican City, have stopped flowing after the Vatican authorities moved to turn off some of the 100 fountains due to a drought affecting Rome, on July 25, 2017. Two years of lower-than-average rainfall in Rome has forced Rome to close fountains and consider the prospect of water rationing. (Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 26 Jul 2017 05:46 PM

A drought in Italy has led the Vatican to turn off about 100 famous fountains in St. Peter’s Square, Vatican Gardens, and elsewhere to conserve water.

An unusually hot, dry spring has led to severe water shortages in Italy, affecting farmland and rural areas with fires and hail from severe summer storms that ruined crops, CNN reported. Both decorative and drinking fountains will be turned off as officials try to figure out where to get water supplies for residents in the face of shrinking reservoirs.

Italian farmers’ group Coldiretti said that two-thirds of the nation’s farmland has been affected by the drought and that losses of up to 2 billion Euros ($2.3 billion) are possible, CNN reported.

The Vatican website called the move “in line with the teachings of Pope Francis,” even though it is the first time Vatican authorities remember doing so, Time reported.

Vatican spokesman Greg Burke told Reuters, “This decision is very much in line with the pope’s thinking on ecology: you can’t waste and sometimes you have to be willing to make a sacrifice.”

Seventy-two percent less rain than normal fell in July, Reuters said, following 74 percent less in June and 56 percent less in March, April, and May. Officials in Rome are meeting this week to decide whether to introduce more drastic water rationing methods, and most of Rome’s fountains (except for some drinking ones) have also been shut off, the BBC reported.

Some on Twitter wondered what the birds would do without the water from the fountains, and others were glad the Vatican wasn’t holding itself above the people.

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A drought in Italy has led the Vatican to turn off about 100 famous fountains in St. Peter’s Square, Vatican Gardens, and elsewhere to conserve water.
drought, italy, vatican, fountains
328
2017-46-26
Wednesday, 26 Jul 2017 05:46 PM
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