Amid Rome drought, Vatican turns off all fountains to save water

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The Vatican said online it turned off the external fountains in St. Peter's Square and all interior fountains, including those in the Vatican Gardens.

Some 300 of the city's famous "big nose" public fountains - so called due to their shape - have already been turned off and more will follow.

Vatican Radio on Monday said the decision is linked with Pope Francis' teachings on the environment.

"Essentially, the water that comes into the Vatican comes from the same place as where the water comes and goes to Rome, and this is our way of trying to help out the city", he continued.

A lingering severe drought in Italy has led to water rationing for crop production and daily life of residents, with more than 10 disaster areas declared to the Department of Agriculture, local media has reported.

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"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 Vatican said on its website.

Dairy farmers and those growing olives, tomatoes and wine grapes are among the most affected, farmers' association Coldiretti warns.

The reason for shutting a hundred spigots is a drought that has consumed much of Italy, delivering 72 percent less rain than normal in July and 74 percent less in June.

Meteorologists have claimed that spring 2017 was Italy's third-driest in 60 years.

There is a possibility that people in Rome will have to ration water to get through the last half of summer. A spokesperson for the Vatican, Greg Burke, said he thinks this is the first time this has happened, and it is a way for the Vatican to show solidarity with Rome.

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