Could cloud seeding be part of solving the water crisis?

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Cloud seeding is a method of increasing rainfall by dispersing substances into the air, most commonly using planes. It has been performed since its discovery by scientist Bernard Vonnegut in the 1940s (Science magazine) but whether it significantly increases precipitation is still debated.

Nevertheless, it was used ahead of the 2008 Summer Olympics to try and preemptively remove rain from clouds before they reached Beijing and keep clear skies during the opening and closing ceremonies. How should WikiTribune cover this, shape the coverage below.

As one of the most driest countries in the world, UAE started performing regular cloud seeding operations in the early 2000s. In 2017, the UAE performed 242 cloud seeding operations.

It is difficult to measure the effect of cloud seeding operations in the increase of rainfall. It is impossible to have two exact same clouds and hence it is challenging to design an experiment that can determine the increase in rainfall by the cloud seeding process.

By 2030 half the world’s population could be living in areas of high water stress. And half a billion people in the world already face severe water scarcity all year round (Science). Could cloud seeding be the answer?

Questions this article will seek to answer:

  • Could cloud seeding be part of solving the water crisis and where in the world is it feasible?
  • How effective is cloud seeding?
  • How affordable is cloud seeding?
  • Add more questions here
line art drawing of cloud seeding (Copyright: public domain; Author: Pearson Scott Foresman)
Line art drawing of cloud seeding (Copyright: public domain; Author: Pearson Scott Foresman)

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Proposed interviews

  • National Center for Atmospheric Research

  • World Meteorological Organisation

  • CSIRO Australia experiments (https://csiropedia.csiro.au/cloud-seeding/)
  • UAE National Centre of Meteorology(https://www.thenational.ae/uae/environment/the-rain-men-everything-you-need-to-know-about-uae-s-cloud-seeding-missions-1.696289)

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