The Vatican Turned Off Its Fountains So Rome Can Save Water

The Vatican says it is shutting off all its fountains including those in St. Peter's Square because of Italy's drought

The Vatican says it is shutting off all its fountains including those in St. Peter's Square because of Italy's drought

The Vatican has about 100 fountains, including two Baroque masterpieces, and all will be switched off, including those in its gardens.

Vatican Radio said the measures were in line with Pope Francis' 2015 teaching letter on the environment which deplored the plundering of the earth's resources and urged "swift and unified global action" for their conservation.

Suffocating summer heat combined with two years of lower-than-average rainfall in Rome has forced authorities in the Italian capital to close drinking fountains and consider the prospect of water rationing.

A severe drought across Italy has made preserving water a top priority this summer. It is home to tomato and wheat fields that supply the world's biggest pasta producer, Barilla.

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

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Others are: Umbria and Lazio in central Italy, as well as Campania, Calabria, Apulia, Basilicata and Sicily in the south.

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

"This is the Vatican's way of living in solidarity with Rome, trying to help Rome get through this crisis", Greg Burke, a Vatican spokesperson said in a recent interview.

When you think of Rome, you nearly always think of handsome fountains.

In its report, Vatican Radio said the Pope's Laudato Si encyclical "recalls how the habit of wasting and throwing away things has reached unheard-of levels, while clean drinking water represents a matter of primary importance because it is indispensable for human life and for supporting ecosystems on land and sea".