In this Monday, Aug. 10, 2015 photo provided by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, in suit at center rear, and LADWP workers deposit the final batch of over 90 million "shade balls" into the Los Angeles Reservoir in the Sylmar area of Los Angeles. (Art Mochizuki/Los Angeles Department of Water and Power via AP)
LA gets blackballed (actually, it's just water)
August 18, 2015
Los Angeles has been blackballed.
The city has completed a program of covering open-air reservoirs. Floating "shade balls" are being used. They protect water quality.
City officials have dumped the last 20,000 of 96 million black balls. They have gone into the Los Angeles Reservoir. It's located in Sylmar. That is 25 miles northwest of downtown.
The plastic balls are 4 inches in diameter. They block sunlight from making it through the surface of the reservoir. It is 175 acres in size.
Blocking sunlight prevents chemical reactions. Those can cause algae blooms and other problems. And it allows the Department of Water and Power to meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency water-quality requirements.
The balls have an added perk. They aid with the effects of the drought. They are expected to keep about 300 million gallons yearly from evaporating.
"It takes bold ingenuity to maximize my goals for water conservation," Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement. The effort is "emblematic of the kind of the creative thinking we need to meet those challenges."
Each of the balls costs 36 cents. The reservoir holds 3.3 billion gallons.
The city began using shade balls in 2008. They now also cover the Upper Stone, Elysian and Ivanhoe reservoirs.
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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
How do the black balls conserve water?
Write your answers in the comments section below