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California Scientists Propose Covering Canals With Solar Panels To Reduce Evaporation

By Mark Brodie
Published: Monday, September 13, 2021 - 11:15am
Updated: Tuesday, September 14, 2021 - 2:34pm

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Sustainability coverage is supported in part by Intel

California solar panels covering canal
Solar AquaGrid LLC
A University of California study found numerous advantages in mounting solar panels over open water canals.

Water is becoming increasingly scarce across the Western U.S., and scientists are looking for ways to preserve what we do have.

Researchers in California have come up with an idea they say would save water by preventing evaporation: covering the state’s nearly 4,000 miles of canals with solar panels. They also say that’d generate renewable energy without having to build a big solar field.

Brandi McKuin, a postdoctoral researcher in the environmental studies department at UC Santa Cruz, is one of the scientists working on this.

The Show spoke with her to learn about some of the potential benefits of doing this.

California solar panels covering canal
Solar AquaGrid LLC
A University of California study found numerous advantages in mounting solar panels over open water canals.

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