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Vatican shuts off its fountains due to drought


Photo by By Michael Wilson via Wikimedia Commons

I.Media - published on 07/26/17

Conservation efforts echo pope's call in Laudato Si'

The Vatican will suspend the water supply to its fountains, announced Vatican Radio  English on Tuesday, because of the drought affecting the city of Rome and all of Italy—the worst in 60 years.

The Governorate of Vatican City-State has decided to drain all the fountains under its responsibility, including the two present in St. Peter’s square and those in the Vatican gardens.

This measure echoes the teachings of Pope Francis in his ecological Encyclical Laudato si’ (2015), says Vatican Radio.

This decision comes as the level of Lake of Bracciano, the main source of water for the Italian capital, has gone down by more than a yard, and continues to drop at the rate of more than a third of an inch per day. In response, the Lazio region immediately decided to suspend pumping potable water from the Lake.

This will cause unprecedented consequences: Starting at the end of the week, in the absence of an alternative, water to the city of Rome will be cut by sectors for eight-hour turns. This means that a million and a half of Rome’s residents will have their potable water rationed.

The drought is not the only cause of the lack of water; the old Roman water distribution network is also to blame. Some 44% of the water fed into the grid disappears through cracks in pipes left without maintenance for decades.

By comparison, Vatican Radio underlined, losses due to leaks in the water supply system in Paris are less than 5%. AH

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