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California has announced that they will launch an experiment to cover aqueducts with solar panels to try to save billions of gallons of water and power millions of homes.

Source: Reuters/Youtube

The $20 million project is funded by the state and will begin to break ground in two locations in Central California, one in the town of Hickman and another in Ceres. The Project Nexus in the Turlock Irrigation District will launch in October and hopefully help give real-time solutions to North America’s worst drought in 1,200 years.

Covering the aqueducts will save billions of gallons of water that would otherwise be evaporated. Covering them with solar panels will save land, reduce aquatic weed and algae growth, save on maintenance costs, and provide power, Brandi McKuin, the University of California Merced project scientist, told Reuters. The project is based on a similar project in west India, and the specific Turlock project was inspired by McKuin’s research paper that was published last year.

California has a network of about 4,000 miles of canals currently, which brings water from the north to the dry south. McKuin estimates that if all 4,000 miles of canals were covered with solar panels, it could be half of what California needs to meet its carbon-free energy goals. This could produce 13 gigawatts of renewable energy, which could potentially power over 9.5 million homes. McKuin’s research also calculated this would savage 63 billion gallons of water, which is enough to supply 2 million people and irrigate 50,000 acres of cropland.

Climate change leads to extreme weather like droughts, floods, and fires. The single BEST thing you can do to save water is to stop eating meat and all animal products. Growing animals for livestock takes a massive amount of water. It takes nearly 660 gallons of water to just make one burger, which is equivalent to nearly two months of showering for the average person. On the other hand, it takes 1,000 gallons of water to make just one gallon of cow milk.

Studies have shown that eating more plant-based can add over a decade to your lifespan, it can save the world’s forests, it benefits the environment, and it is significantly better for your health! Nations around the world have urged people to eat more plant-based to curb climate change.

We highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes, it is the largest meatless, plant-based, vegan, and allergy-friendly recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.

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