Unless you've been living under a rock, you've heard that there's a drought in California. A historically bad drought, that could have repercussions throughout the entire country. In the face of an emergency of this magnitude, water conservation has been the number one priority, and in LA, they've found a novel way to preserve existing water supplies. As they would say in Cali (I think)—just throw hella shade at it, bro. This time, in ball-form.
What you're seeing is some of the 96 million "shade balls" the LA Department of Water and Power is employing in an effort to protect its reservoirs' water quality. The balls will help in "preventing sunlight-triggered chemical reactions, deterring birds and other wildlife, and protecting water from rain and wind-blown dust," according to an August 10 press release from Mayor Eric Garcetti. The balls cost 36 cents apiece and should save approximately 300 million gallons of water from evaporation, while also saving the city about $250 million—compared to other conservation methods.