Pope Francis shuts Vatican's famed fountains due to drought
A prolonged drought in several parts of Italy has prompted the Vatican to shut off its famous fountains. The move is in line with Pope Francis's teachings on the environment, which includes his opposition to wasteful practices. The drought has hit two-thirds of Italy's farmland, costing the agriculture sector $2.3 billion. It's Italy's third-driest spring in 60 years.
First time anyone can remember Vatican fountains being shut
The Vatican is home to around 100 fountains, including two Baroque masterpieces, which will all be shut down. The Vatican said this is the first time anyone could remember such a thing happening. "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," it added.
Vatican says 'you must be willing to make a sacrifice'
The Vatican said: "You can't waste, and sometimes you have to be willing to make a sacrifice. We have very beautiful gardens in the Vatican. They might not be as green this year, but we'll survive." The Vatican receives its water from Rome.
How bad is Italy's drought?
10 regions in Italy are preparing requests to the agricultural ministry for a state of natural calamity to be declared. There are fears that food prices could surge due to lowered crop production. Milk production has also reportedly dropped as cows are suffering in the heat. Rome is facing water rationing and some of its drinking fountains have had to shut down.