[On August 10], the Los Angeles Shade Ball Cover Project rolled to a halt, rounding off years of work. With a shout of "shade balls away!" Los Angeles city officials overturned a row of sacks and sent 20,000 of the jet black objects cascading down into the Los Angeles Reservoir. [...]
Together, the ball shroud prevents damage from sunlight, dust, and errant birds, and keeps 300 million gallons of surface water from evaporating each year. — atlasobscura.com
What's plastic, black, saves water and costs 36 cents each? Shade balls! The LA Mayor's Office's press release tells their origin story:
Dr. Brian White, a now-retired LADWP biologist, was the first person to think of using shade balls for water quality. The idea came to him when he learned about the application of “bird balls” in ponds along airfield runways. The innovative, in-house solution has been used in LADWP’s open-air reservoirs since 2008 to block sunlight, prevent chemical reactions and curtail algae blooms. Currently in place at Upper Stone, Elysian and Ivanhoe reservoirs, the shade balls come with the added benefit of reducing evaporation off the reservoir surfaces by 85 to 90 percent.
The "shade balls" news may be too late to make this week's Meme Monday, but I'll leave it up to Archinectors to cook up something ... memorable.
Watch a truckload of shade balls being emptied into the reservoir:
Have an idea for how to address the drought with design? Submit your ideas to the Dry Futures competition!