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WATCH: L.A. Bombing Reservoirs with Millions of ‘Shade Balls’

Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 12.02.21 PMDrought-stricken Los Angeles consumed 13.6 billion gallons of water in the month of June. With water becoming a scarce resource for the state, researchers are turning to little black balls to make huge impacts. They are partially filled with water and are piling up by the millions in the Los Angeles Reservoir and other area bodies of water to help California save their water. One black plastic ball costs 36 cents to make.

Here’s how it works: the balls are covered with black carbon to absorb the UV rays from the sun. Initially these balls were designed to absorb the UV rays to avoid the chemical reactions between the sun, UV rays and water that can produce algae and chemicals like bromate. These ball have been used in the past, but now with the severe drought in California and water being a limited resource, there is another gain California will get by using the balls. Just this week, 96 million balls were dumped into the Los Angeles Reservoir (and millions more in surrounding reservoirs) in hopes to save more than 300 million gallons of water from evaporating. The shade balls project is a $34 million project for the state, but in the end will save the city nearly $250 million.

For WeatherNation: Meteorologist, Tracey Anthony

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