Los Angeles Exploring Plan to Cover Aqueduct with Solar Panels

In an era where water shortages are the norm, it’s become clear to cities, especially in the American west, that water conservation, and innovative engineering around water is critical.

The Los Angeles aqueduct is a gravity-fed aqueduct, running 370-miles from the Owens River in the¬†Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains to the city of Los Angeles. Almost all of it remains uncovered, meaning the sun evaporates up to 10-11% of that water every year.¬†In a place that needs every drop of water it can get, that’s a problem.

Enter a new plan to cover the aqueduct with solar panels, providing protection against evaporation, as well as clean energy to over 1.5 million residents. The panels would span much of the uncovered length of the aqueduct, which winds its way through farmland to the city, providing as nearly 40% (close to 55.5 billion gallons) of L.A.’s drinking water.

It’s an innovative plan, but one that got its initial roots from another statewide trial, called Project Nexus. That trial proved that this dual-benefit feature could work, and could be deployed at scale.

No word yet if final approvals have been granted, nor what the project might cost, but you can read more about this plan on Treehugger:

A trial project in California called Project Nexus proved the viability of such a solar cover plan.