New Study Looks At Covering California's Canals With Solar Panels
Scientists in California just ran the numbers on what would happen if their state slapped solar panels on 4,000 miles of its canals, including the major California Aqueduct, and the results point to a potentially beautiful partnership. Their feasibility study, published in the journal Nature Sustainability, finds that if applied statewide, the panels would save 63 billion gallons of water from evaporating each year. At the same time, solar panels across California's exposed canals would provide 13 gigawatts of renewable power annually, about half of the new capacity the state needs to meet its decarbonization goals by the year 2030.
"With or without climate change, the supply of water in California is tightening, and the demand for water in California is increasing," says Kiparsky. "And those two facts together mean that, indeed, any water savings is good, and it's welcome." says Michael Kiparsky, director of the Wheeler Water Institute at the UC Berkeley School of Law.
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