Plastic 'shade balls' used to fight Los Angeles drought

Last updated at 12:05
Workers release plastic 'shade balls' into a reservoir in Los AngelesAP

The city of Los Angeles in the US has a new tool in its fight against a serious drought.

96 million 'shade balls' have been tipped into three big lakes, or reservoirs, that hold water for the city to drink and use.

When it's hot, lots of water is lost through a process called 'evaporation'.

'Shade balls' cover part of a reservoir in CaliforniaAP
'Shade balls' cover part of a reservoir in California

When water on the surface is warmed by the Sun it floats into the air.

By covering the surface, the balls stop heat from the sun getting to the water.

Plastic balls in a reservoir in Los Angeles to prevent water lossAP
Each ball in this reservoir in Los Angeles is 10 centimetres wide

It's hoped the shade balls could stop up to 300 million gallons of water escaping from LA reservoirs every year.

The balls also protect the water from being polluted by dust and chemicals.