Pope shuts off fountains amid drought

Violet Powell
July 26, 2017

The Vatican has turned off its fountains, including its famous waterworks in St. Peters's Square, for the first time in recent memory as a severe drought hits parts of Italy.

Standing in St Peter's Square, where two fountains by 17th-century sculptors Carlo Maderno and Gian Lorenzo Bernini stood dry, Burke said the Vatican wanted to help.

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

(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.

There are around 100 fountains in Vatican City, and on July 24, authorities started to turn them off.

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"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", Mr.

"The drought that is affecting the city of Rome and the surrounding areas of the capital has led the Holy See to take measures to save water", the Holy See said on its website Tuesday.

The drought had affected many other areas of Italy.

Ten regions across the country have called for a state of emergency to be declared after Italy suffered the second-driest spring in 60 years and rainfall in the first six months of the year was down 33 per cent.

Rome's ancient water systems have served drinking and ornamental fountains for thousands of years. Pope Francis has always preached about solidarity, so shutting off the fountains, despite their popularity, is a show of solidarity with the people of Rome.

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