LA hopes Shade Balls will help water woes

The city of Los Angeles has deployed exactly 96 million ” shade balls ” to the Los Angeles Reservoir to help with water conservation.

“By reducing evaporation, these shade balls will conserve 300 million gallons of water each year, instead of just evaporating into the sky. That’s 300 million gallons to fight this drought,” said LA Mayor Eric Garcetti.

300 million gallons of water might sound like a lot, but it really isn’t when you take into consideration the fact that LA used 13.6 billion gallons of water this past June alone. 

According to an article in The Los Angeles Times from 2008, the city used shade balls then in the Ivanhoe Reservoir to prevent the formation of bromate, a harmful carcinogen that forms when bromide and chloride are exposed to sunlight and heat.

Deploying the shade balls to the LA Reservoir is the last step in a $34.5 million plan to prevent water evaporation and algae formation.

California is in its fourth year of a drought.

Back in January, California Governor Jerry Brown declared a State of Emergency because of the drought.

In April, Gov. Brown introduced mandatory water restrictions with the goal of reducing water use by 25 percent.

To make his point, Gov. Brown made his executive order from an area of the Sierra Nevada that usually requires snow shoes to traverse at that time in April.

“We’re standing on dry grass,” Brown said. “We should be standing on five feet of snow.”

On Thursday, Califorinia State Climatologist Michael Anderson issued a statement warning that even an El Niño might not be able to break the dry-spell.

“California cannot count on potential El Niño conditions to halt or reverse drought conditions.  Historical weather data shows us that at best, there is a 50/50 chance of having a wetter winter. Unfortunately, due to shifting climate patterns, we cannot even be that sure,” he said.


[Vox] [NPR] [The Los Angeles Times] [Photo courtesy Vox]