LOS ANGELES — California officials are getting ballsy about fighting the state’s drought.
On Tuesday, officials released thousands of “shade balls” to protect the water from dust, chemicals, wildlife and — most importantly — evaporation.
“LA just completed a project at the LA Reservoir to save 300 million gallons of water by deploying shade balls on its surface, saving our city over $250 million dollars while keeping our water clean & safe,”Mayor Eric Garcetti posted on Facebook.
The shade balls are plastic, and are used to cover the water without preventing evaporation.
“The water needs to be shaded because when sunlight mixes with the bromide and chlorine in Ivanhoe’s water, the carcinogen bromate forms, said Pankaj Parekh, DWP’s director for water quality compliance. Bromide is naturally present in groundwater and chlorine is used to kill bacteria, he said, but sunlight is the final ingredient in the potentially harmful mix.”
The 95,980,000 balls cost 36 cents each. The balls were the final step in a $34 million water quality protection project.
Los Angeles is the first city in the U.S. to use shade balls in its water system.