“Shade Balls” When you think they can’t come up with more zany ways to spend taxpayer dollars.

Even by California’s “Sir-spend-alot” governor Jerry Brown’s lofty standards this latest financial sink hole is a whopper. What has Sir-spend-alot decided to dump another blimpload of cash into? “Shade balls” for the Los Angeles Reservoir.

On August 12th workers placed 96 million of the “shade balls” into the reservoir in an attempt to create an evaporation barrier as a way to save water. The cost to cover the reservoir with the black shade balls? Nearly $35 million!! Thirty five million dollars from a state that reported a $10 billion cash deficit last year and is teetering on the edge of insolvency. Whether or not the science behind the idea of “shade balls” has been tested and proven is largely unknown. Causing many California leaders (mostly the conservatives) to wonder why on earth did we invest this huge sum of money, time and effort into something without making sure it even works?

According to Richard Harasick of the LA County Department of Water and Power, the savings in water loss through the barrier created by the balls will be enough to save the equivalent of water used by 2,700 average households per year. How he knows this? Anyone’s guess. Has a study been conducted to discover the affect of water usage in California by all the people in the state (and nation) illegally? Wonder what would happen to usage if they weren’t here?

One private citizen decided to do his own admittedly rather unscientific test. John Kocalis took two equal buckets of water, placing black balls into one and nothing in the othert. As can be seen in his homemade video, water in the shade balls bucket actually evaporates faster!

As Kocalis notes and just about every fourth grader knows, black absorbs heat. Could be that California should’ve made the balls green – green to represent the flushing of California taxpayers dollars, right down the reservoir.

1 Comment

  1. If you amortize the cost of these balls over the total water going through the system it’s still a bit pricey but not insane when you consider the effects of droughts. For example, in Carlsbad, California they are building a desalinization plant with guaranteed annual sales at a cost of just over $2,000 per acre-foot.

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