California compulsion to throw plastic balls into lakes
The scene is hardly believable, yet it is real and reflects the urgency of the environmental crisis in California in recent years. To preserve what little water it has left, the state decided to dump nearly 96 million plastic balls in its reservoirs.
California has one of the worst droughts in its history. So that in just 4 years, most of its tanks are emptied by eye. The photographs of the developments have also toured the world. Nearly $ 1 billion of public funds were made available to address the problem in 2015. Emergency and rationing measures have been adopted but largely ineffective given the scale of the phenomenon. And because these measures address domestic consumption, leaving agribusiness (farms and plantations) then saves it consumes nearly 80% of the water from the region alone.
Dropping black balls floating in water, it is the extreme solution adopted by California authorities to fight against the equally extreme drought that hit the region. Idea practically out of a science fiction movie, these « shadow of balls » have no other purpose than to block sunlight and reduce evaporation of water. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, these balls would also prevent chlorine from turning into carcinogens by reflecting UV rays while limiting the growth of algae.
For those who fear the spread of chemical derivatives in nature, the bullets themselves are made from the same material as milk bottles and therefore should, in principle, no problem. Although strange and radical, the technique aims to be more profitable than others in relation to the huge costs caused by drought. According to sources, the method would save nearly 1 billion liters of water each year. The first stage of the project resulted in the released 20 000 of these balls in the shadow of Los Angeles tank. In total, almost 96 million of these balls will be discharged into various bodies of water.
Source: Mr Mondialisation (French)