Italy introduces partial water rationing due to severe drought

Rome faces water rationing as drought plagues Italy

Rome faces water rationing as drought plagues Italy

The Governorate of Vatican City State has made a decision to turn off all the fountains, both the external ones located in St. Peter's Square, and the interior fountains including those in the Vatican Gardens.

"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", Burke said.

A severe drought across Italy has made preserving water a top priority this summer. Less than usual rainfalls in the past two years have steadily depleted the lake, which provides 8 percent of the city's water supply.

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

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Two fountains, which sit in St. Peter's square in the Vatican, were sculpted by the late 17 century sculptors Carlo Mademo and Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

While the drought already forced Rome city officials to shut down some of Rome's public drinking fountains in June, it may lead to strict water rationing for the city's estimated 1.5 million residents.

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". 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.

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.

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