The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) in the US recently released 20 000 water balls into the city’s reservoir to improve its water quality.
The plastic balls, which are weighted down with water inside, are being used to block sunlight from the water’s surface, and to protect the water from rain, wildlife and other chemical reactions.
The “shade balls” as they are called last for 10 years, after which they will be removed and recycled.
To get more insight, CapeTalk’s John Maytham spoke to Dr Kevin Winter, Lecturer at Department of Environmental & Geographical Sciences at UCT:
The shade balls are also used to keep the water cool, reducing evaporation from the reservoirs. However, according to Dr Winter there is very little success reports on these balls reducing water evaporation.
There hasn't been any academic work that gives us an indication that this really works— Dr Kevin Winter, Lecturer at Department of Environmental & Geographical Sciences at UCT
Listen to the full conversation on The John Maytham Show: