The City Council voted Tuesday to examine a proposal to place solar panels over the 370-mile Los Angeles Aqueduct, in an attempt to reduce evaporation and add capacity for renewable energy for residents.
Around one-tenth of the water in the aqueduct is lost from evaporation each year due to the length of travel for water to make it through the aqueduct, according to the office of Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, who introduced the motion.
The aqueduct, which opened in 1913, provided nearly 40% of Los Angeles’ water supply each year between 2016 and 2019, but the city has lessened that reliance in recent years, according to the motion.
“Los Angeles is already doing so much to fight the climate crisis and advance our environmental justice goals, but as we act urgently, we must also think creatively,” O’Farrell said in a statement when the motion was filed. “The aqueduct is the reason that modern-day Los Angeles exists, but we’re not using it smartly enough.”
The council voted to explore options — including state and federal grants — that would help generate solar power over the aqueduct, and to create a report outlining water evaporation issues.
In another climate-related decision, the council voted to explore requiring developments of greater than 100,000 square feet to install gray- water reuse systems.