Preventing Evaporation in California

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In an effort to fight the continuing drought in California, black plastic balls have been released to cover water reservoirs to prevent evaporation and preserve water.  After a series of complex and expensive ideas, these balls were manufactured and released, costing taxpayers little. The balls can stay for ten years before being collected and replaced.

2 thoughts on “Preventing Evaporation in California

  1. I just read an article on this in National Geographic! According to http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/08/150812-shade-balls-los-angeles-California-drought-water-environment/ each ball only costs .36 cents, for a total of about $35 million. The balls should save about 300,000 gallons of water a year, which is enough to supply the city with drinking water for 3 weeks. The reason that these balls should work is because they will shade and cool the water, as well as prevent algae and bacteria that would obviously make the water undrinkable. One thing I found surprising is that these balls are filled with water so they don’t blow away… that seems a bit counterproductive. I read that the balls will actually last up to 25 years. This is a creative idea and hopefully it will be effective!

  2. I would also note that the article is dated August 2015 – not to say that it isn’t relevant, but right now California is experiencing heavy rain and snow fall – and associated with rain will be mud and debris flows, landslides and flooding. The state hopes for infiltration of the precipitation to recharge groundwater supplies – so it doesn’t all just run off into the ocean – but look at the ‘atmospheric rivers’ post! And look for mass wasting articles soon! – – Jackie G

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