How solar panels could save billions of gallons of water each year

by: Nick Bannin, Kristin Walla

Posted: 6/3/2021 / 6:44 PM CDT
Updated: 6/3/2021 / 6:44 PM CDT

Solar panels (AP Photo / Mark Lennihan)

(KXAN) – As the demand for solar power and clean energy increases, recent research has shown that solar panels could be used not only to collect solar power but also to save water.

Brandi McKuin of the University of California, Santa Cruz, suggests with her research that solar panels can be used to generate clean energy and reduce evaporation, thus saving water.

Her research estimates that if California’s 4,000 miles of open canals were covered with solar panels, nearly 65 billion gallons of water could be saved annually.

In a post from Yale Climatology Connections, McKuin said, “Water scarcity is a major problem for our state, especially when we experience frequent droughts. And climate change will only make the drought worse, so any water saving is really crucial. “

While solar panels already cover some channels in India, McKuin said more research is needed to see if this could be applied in California, but it is a potentially promising way to simultaneously produce renewable energy and water in the warmer years to come to save.

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