The hot dry weather currently affecting the city of Vatican has led to a final decision of turning off the fountains that make the city famous
“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 Governorate of Vatican City State has decided 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,” the Vatican declared
The city owns somewhere around 100 decorative and drinking fountains; among them, there are two 500-years-old marble masterpieces located in St. Peter’s Square.
Rome authorities have also begun to turn off a part of the 2,500 drinking fountains that give the city its special character, as well as quenching people’s thirsts.
However, it will keep a minimum of 85 fountains open and will further think about how many other to close day by day, according to the weather and severity of drought, as Rome’s spokesman said.
Officials from Acea (Lazio region) are meeting with the environment ministry to discuss the idea of rationing the water supply to half of the 3 million residents the city has.
The Lazio region struggles to put a stop on water being drawn from Lake Bracciano, due to the fact that it represents a high risk of drying up the aquatic life. However, the lake represents a very important water supplier for the city.
However, even though Rome and its surroundings are suffering from drought, the rest of Italy is also suffering from the detrimental effects that this hot and dry period has.
According to the Italian group Coldiretti, two thirds of the country’s farmland has been severely affected by the weather.
“Violent thunderstorms and hailstones on farmland exhausted by drought in a crazy summer marked by extreme (weather) events has driven up the financial losses in the countryside to more than 2 billion euros ($2.3 billion)” Coldiretti said
At the same time, in France, wildfires that took place across the south of the country have burned thousands of acres of woodland.