The City of Los Angeles has just filled their 175-acre reservoir with 96 million 4-inch black plastic balls to prevent water evaporation.

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Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti told KABC "By reducing evaporation, these shade balls will conserve 300 million gallons of water each year. Instead of just evaporating into the sky, that’s 300 million gallons to fight this drought.”

This move makes Los Angeles the first city in the country to use plastic balls to prevent evaporation. The balls have a lifespan of ten years before they will be replaced and recycled. The balls cost just 36 cents each, saving the city millions. The cost of employing a protective tarp would be $300 million dollars.

The LA reservoir currently holds 3.3 million gallons of water, which is enough to supply the city for three weeks in case of emergency.

Facts about shade balls:

 The Los Angeles shade balls are made of polyethylene.

 The balls are hermetically sealed and coated with a chemical that blocks UV rays.

 The balls are also used to keep wildlife safe and manage odors in toxic waste plants.

Cover image: KABC