California to cover canals with solar panels to combat drought
California's latest investment is killing two birds with one stone, in the best way possible. To fight the ongoing drought — and to simultaneously produce renewable energy - the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) is investing several million dollars in building solar panels atop water supply canals. This will not only produce clean, renewable energy for the state, but it will also improve water conservation efforts. California's DWR has invested $20 million in a sustainability project called "Project Nexus," according to CBS News. The project involves the installation of solar panel "canopies" atop 4,000 miles of Turlock Irrigation District (TID) canals in Central California, to simultaneously combat drought and produce clean energy. Project Nexus, which was initially announced in February, will start construction in the fall, and will ideally be completed by the end of next year. Aiming to produce 13 gigawatts of energy capacity, Project Nexus will also help achieve Gov. Gavin Newson's goal to source 60 percent renewable energy by 2030. "In a 2021 study, we showed that covering all 4,000 miles of California’s canals with solar panels would save more than 65 billion gallons of water annually by reducing evaporation," he continued. "That’s enough to irrigate 50,000 acres of farmland or meet the residential water needs of more than 2 million people... this approach would help California meet its sustainable management goals for both water and land resources.