In this photo, obtained from ABC7 News in Los Angeles, the shade balls are released into the reservoir.
In this photo, obtained from ABC7 News in Los Angeles, the shade balls are released into the reservoir.

Aimed at preventing evaporation and algae growth in reservoirs, California has deployed the last set of what are called “shade balls.” Last week, 20,00 black plastic balls were distributed into the Los Angles Reservoir. This is part of a $34 million dollar quality project to find ways to cover natural resources as a way of preventing sunlight from reacting with chlorine and possibly creating carcinogens in bodies of reservoir water. At 4-inch-diameter, and costing 36 cents each, these plastic balls lay on the surface of the water and are predicted to save 300 million gallons of water annually. It is also a cheaper alternative than other measures.

These plastic balls, all 96 million of them in the L.A. Reservoir, rest on the water's surface and are coated with a chemical that blocks UV light and can last up to 25 years. This is one solution to helping combat California's ongoing drought.

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