Pope Francis shuts off Vatican fountains due to Italy drought

Trevor Jackson
July 26, 2017

The decision reflects the pro-environment teachings of Pope Francis' Laudato Sii encyclical on climate change, the official Vatican broadcaster said.

The Vatican has shut off the water at its fountains, including in St. Peter's Square.


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.

Pope Francis has chose 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. 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.

Forecast: More of the same - dangerously hot and humid
MONDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy skies and isolated rain showers will be around for Monday night, with a low temperature of 67 degrees. MONDAY: Widely scattered rain showers and thunderstorms continue for Monday, with an afternoon high temperature of 88 degrees.

Suffocating summer heat, coupled with two years of below-average rainfall, has forced the Italian capital to close drinking fountains and consider water rationing. It is the first time Vatican authorities can remember being forced to turn off the fountains, a spokesperson for the Vatican told the news agency.

The drought had affected many other areas of Italy.

Italy had one of its driest springs in 60 years and rainfall in some parts of the country has been 80 percent below normal levels, according to meteorologists. Burke told Reuters that turning off the historic fountains is "the Vatican's way of living solidarity with Rome, trying to help Rome get through this crisis".

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.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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