96-million 'shade balls' floating on its 75-acre LA Reservoir.
These apple-sized plastic balls are designed to help protect the supply against dust, rain, chemicals and wildlife, as well as prevent massive water loss each year.
They cost 36 cents each, and are coloured black because that's the only colour able to deflect UV rays. Additionally, they reduce evaporation off the reservoir surfaces by 85-90%!
Mayor Eric Garcetti: "In addition to reducing chemical treatment to prevent natural occurrences like algae, these shade balls are a cost-effective way to reduce evaporation annually by nearly 300 million gallons, enough to provide drinking water for 8,100 people for a full year."
The polyethylene balls are expected to save $250 million when compared to other techniques to protect the water.
This is a phenomenal saving in both dollars and water, and an idea deserving of high praise!