Solar Panels On Canals May Help Conserve Water In California

Dwindling Water Supply Forces Cities Like Phoenix To Make Hard Choices

Photo: Mario Tama / Getty Images News / Getty Images

Over the past decade, those living in California have heard time and time again that we need to cut back on our water usage. Set days and times for watering lawns, taking 5-minute showers, and purchasing household appliances that help reduce waste usage have become a part of California culture.

Conserving water in California is vital during its long running drought. Thankfully, 2023 has giving the Golden State a break with the many rainstorms that hit the state back in February and March. But the harsh rhetoric of conserving water might lighten with new solutions forming as technology advances.

A study from University of California, Merced shows that approximately 63 billion gallons of water can be saved if California's 4000 miles of canals are covered with solar panels. The other benefit, the solar panel would help generate more power for the state. However, this is just a guess, nothing has been tested to prove the theory until now.

The project to test this theory out is called "Project Nexus" and would take place in California's Central Valley, according to the Associated Press.

$20 million dollars of public funds have been set aside to help fund this project. 1.6 miles of canals, ranging from 20 to 110 feet, will be covered with solar panels 5 to 15 feet off the ground.

The study will see if the impacts of solar panels on top of the canals will help with reducing the evaporation of water and improve the quality of the water.

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