Pope Francis shuts off Vatican fountains amid Italy drought



Tue, 25 Jul 2017 - 12:30 GMT


Tue, 25 Jul 2017 - 12:30 GMT

Pope Francies - Reuters

Pope Francies - Reuters

VATICAN CITY- 25 July 2017: The Vatican has started shutting off its famous fountains amid a prolonged drought in many parts of Italy, the BBC reported.

Vatican Radio said the move was in line with Pope Francis's teachings on the environment.

The Pope laid out his ecological fears in a 2015 encyclical, which denounced wasteful practices and highlighted the importance of clean drinking water.

The prolonged drought has hit two-thirds of farmland and has cost Italian agriculture some €2bn ($2.3bn; £1.8bn).

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

Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said it was the first time anyone could remember this happening.

He said it was the Vatican's way of showing solidarity with Rome during the crisis.

"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," he added.

This spring has been Italy's third-driest in 60 years.

Rome itself has suffered two years of lower-than-average rainfall and later this week city authorities will decide whether to introduce drastic water rationing.

Some of Rome's famed drinking fountains have already been shut off.



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