Building on Thursday’s Building Back Better BONUS . . . one of you sent me these bullet points from last fall:

A 2021 UC Merced study found that covering all 4,000 miles of California’s [irrigation] canals [with solar panels] could save 63 billion gallons of water annually, or enough for around 2 million people’s residential use.

And generate about a sixth of California’s current power needs.

Evaporation helps cool the solar panels above the canals (making them more efficient), while maintenance costs are reduced (by slowing the growth of aquatic weeds that need to be cleared).

The UC Merced study was based on hypotheticals. The point of Project Nexus is to test the idea’s real-world efficacy.

I followed that link, listened to the interview, and then called Josh for an update.  Because of supply chain difficulties, work on Project Nexus won’t begin until November.  (It could start sooner, except that the canals are filled with water in the growing season.)  With luck, construction will be done in the spring, and the evaluation can begin.

There is no assurance the benefits will outweigh the costs, justifying building this out to scale — but reason to hope.

Add to that: reproductive health care, clean air and water, a livable climate, universal background checks, and a ban on assault weapons.



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