Vatican Turns off its 100 Fountains Amid Italian Drought

Jerome Frank
July 26, 2017

Pope Francis has made a decision to shut down 100 fountains in the Vatican over the next few days in a bid to help the city of Rome survive a severe drought.

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

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

The Vatican has around 100 decorative and drinking fountains, including two 500-year-old marble masterpieces in St. Peter's Square.

According to Mr. Burke, this is the first time that the Vatican, which is home to over 1.2 billion Catholics, has been forced to turn off the fountains.

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In Rome, Mayor Virginia Raggi issued a ban on the use of domestic water for gardening, filling up swimming pools or washing cars or motorbikes, to be enforced with fines of up to 500 euros.

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.

After the second hottest spring in 60 years, and the driest in that same period, Italy has missed out on about a month's worth of rainfall, leaving lakes and reservoirs severely depleted.

Italy's drought threatens 50% of its farmland and has already resulted in over $2 billion in agriculture costs, with dairy, wine and olive production among the worst hit.

On Monday the group called for investment in infrastructure to collect and distribute the country's water supplies more efficiently and prepare for extreme weather events caused by climate change.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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