Scientists summarize the experiment to combat drought with the help of plastic balls

<pre>Scientists summarize the experiment to combat drought with the help of plastic balls

Three years ago, the authorities of the drought-stricken Los Angeles gave their go-ahead for the extraordinary measures to conserve the moisture reserves in the reservoirs. To this end, they poured out 96 million light plastic balls, which covered the mirror of the reservoir with a protective layer. The measure was immediately recognized as controversial, but it turned out to be the cheapest of all the proposed projects, only $ 34.5 million, against 200-300 million in other cases. Now it's time to sum up.

The mass of balls had three purposes: to create a shadow, not allowing water to heat up, to serve as a barrier to evaporating moisture and, on the other hand, to prevent any garbage from entering the water. This means that no one planned to leave the balls in the reservoir for a long time, and in 2017, after the end of a period of severe drought, they were removed.

It is estimated that during this time the reservoir with balloons kept from evaporation 1.7 million cubic meters. of moisture. However, another fact attracts attention: 2.9 million cubic meters were spent on plastic production for these spheres. water. The lack of winnings is obvious. It was necessary to leave the balls in the water for at least three years, and with a continuous drought, so as to save money by simply compensating the costs of water for their creation. Except as a failure, it is difficult to name this project.

According to Dr. Kave Madani of Imperial College London, we are “superb in quick engineering solutions, but we always manage to ignore their long-term consequences.” Solving one serious problem by radical methods, creating another – the very idea of ​​protecting a reservoir with balls is not bad, but no one undertook to calculate all the details. They chose the simplest and cheapest project, but now with its depressing results, all of humanity can become acquainted. And draw the necessary conclusions.

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