The plastic balls being dropped into the reservoir. Image credit: Sky News
Officials in Los Angeles are using black polyethylene balls in an attempt to alleviate the severe drought currently affecting the city.
The 96 million UV-resistant shade balls have this week been released into the Los Angeles Reservoir in Sylmar, California, in order to cover the water and prevent it from evaporating, as well as protect it from chemicals and wildlife.
The balls, which are approximately the size of an apple, cost 36 American cents to produce and are said to reduce evaporation by as much as 85-90 percent, or some 300 million gallons.
They are currently being used in three other reservoirs in the State as part of a $34.5million dollar project for water quality protection and conservation. It is thought that compared to other techniques used, the use of the plastic balls saves $250million dollars in costs.