Years ago, there was a commercial whose tag line was “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature.” But it is precisely mother nature progressives imagine they can not only fool, but manipulate—for our own good, of course. Nowhere is that kind of idiotic thinking more prevalent than in California.
The problem is that California progressives, for decades, have consciously neglected to build the necessary water infrastructure to support the huge number of people now living there. The entirely foreseeable result is water rationing, and entire communities that have no running water.
Leading the screw up brigade is Los Angeles. Fox News reports:
LA’s scheme to cover a reservoir under 96 million ‘shade balls’ may not be all it is touted to be, experts told FoxNews.com, with some critics going so far as to refer to the plan as a ‘potential disaster.’
The city made national headlines last week when Mayor Eric Garcetti and Department of Water officials dumped $34.5 million worth of the tiny, black plastic balls into the city’s 175-acre Van Norman Complex reservoir in the Sylmar section. Garcetti said the balls would create a surface layer that would block 300 million gallons from evaporating amid the state’s crippling drought and save taxpayers $250 million.
Experts differed over the best color for the tiny plastic balls, with one telling FoxNews.com they should have been white and another saying a chrome color would be optimal. But all agreed that the worst color for the job is the one LA chose.
But of course! Rather than putting that $34.5 million dollars into planning and or building actual long-term solutions to the lack of water for people, they bought millions of little plastic balls.
Black spheres resting in the hot sun will form a thermal blanket speeding evaporation as well as providing a huge amount of new surface area for the hot water to breed bacteria,’ said Matt MacLeod, founder of the California biotech firm Modern Moon Farms. ‘Disaster. It’s going to be a bacterial nightmare.’
‘Any color covering will help stop wind-driven evaporation, said Robert Shibatani. principal hydrologist for the Sacramento-based environmental consultant The Shibitani Group. But when it comes to the hot summer sun sucking water out of the reservoir, color is everything, he said.
‘Ideally you would want a chrome surface,’ he said. ‘The worst would be matte black, which has a reflectivity close to zero.’
Biologist Nathan Krekula, a professor of health science at Bryant & Stratton College in Milwaukee, said black balls will absorb heat, transfer it to the water and cause evaporation. And he agreed with MacLeod that the heat will prove hospitable to bacteria.
‘Bacteria required a few things to grow a dark, warm and moist environment,’ he said. ‘The balls will give them the perfect environment to live in.
‘What works in backyard fish pond does not always transfer to large scale system such as this,’ Krekula added. ‘Keeping the balls clean when covered in bacteria and mold slime will be a monumental task.
Hmm. Aren’t there any biologists in Los Angeles who could have warned about this before tens of millions were spent? Could there be a reason, other than well-meaning environmentalist idiocy, for this black ball scheme?
Dennis Santiago, a risk analyst for Torrance-based Total Bank Solutions, suspects the real goal for the black-ball cover is to avoid steep Environmental Protection Agency fines. The federal agency’s ‘Long-Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule, announced in 2006, would require public and private water utilities to spend billions to cover open-air reservoirs that hold treated water to prevent contamination. Officials in several districts around the nation have balked at the EPA mandate, notably in New York, where lawmakers are fighting to block a $1.6 billion concrete cover the EPA has ordered built over a Yonkers reservoir.
‘This is not about evaporation,’ Santiago said. ‘The water savings spin is purely political. What the black balls are really about is that [Los Angeles] needs to stay in-compliance with an EPA requirement to place a physical cover over potable water reservoirs.
Imagine that. A group of federal, progressive environmentalist half-wits is overpowering a group of state, progressive environmentalist half-wits. The EPA to the rescue, saving us from ourselves, once again.
Everything people like this touch turns to…bacteria.