Somewhere in the world right now, right this second, a bunch of goths are more upset than usual. Why? Because the Government of California, it would seem, have robbed them of 96 million black plastic balls. 96 million black plastic balls that they were planning to use for a Robert Smith-themed ball pit (somewhere in Camden).
No. Not really. That was definitely a weird paragraph to kick things off with. So, what’s actually going on here? Why is a man in an orange shirt dumping 96 million black balls into a reservoir in Los Angeles? At first, we thought it might have something to do with a prank; a really shit prank. But then we dug down further, and discovered that the real reason is actually pretty interesting.
The black plastic balls, known as shade balls, are designed to protect the water against dust, rain, birds, wildlife and chemical reactions caused by the sun. Importantly, for an area that’s suffered with droughts in recent years, it also stops the water in the reservoir from evaporating.
Mayor Eric Garcetti said, “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 of water to fight this drought.” So, there you have it. Now you know why Los Angeles has dumped 96 million plastic balls into a reservoir.