I have been recently thinking about how the water level of Lake Mead keeps dropping due to its high water evaporation rate brought on by recent years of historical drought conditions. The continuous lowering of Lake Mead threatens to shut down Hoover Dam and also threatens the water supply for Las Vegas, since they get most of their drinking water from Lake Mead.
As a short term solution to this problem, I am thinking that it might be worthwhile for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to start laying down long sheets of bubble wrap over the surface of Lake Mead to reduce the rate of water evaporation. Large quantities of water vapor would be trapped beneath the sheets of bubble wrap and this should reduce the amount of water lost to evaporation.
I am sure large amounts of bubble wrap could be quickly manufactured especially if the U.S. government were to subsidize bubble wrap manufacturers around the nation, and if they also were to pay for the transport of this bubble wrap from these factories to Lake Mead. The U.S government could also pay for the costs of ships and crews deploying the bubble wrap out on the lake.
Lake Mead is 247 square miles in size and it may be too expensive to cover all of its surface with sheets of bubble wrap. Yet, even if say only 33% of the lake's surface could be covered, this should still have a significant impact on reducing the amount of water lost to evaporation.
Once the drought comes to an end and the water level on Lake Mead has risen back to its normal level, then these ships would go back out on the lake to collect the bubble wrap and it could be stored in warehouses for future use if the need for it arise again.
Would covering part of Lake Mead with large sheets of bubble wrap reduce the amount of water lost to evaporation?