The planes injecting rain-making solutions into the UAE skies should save the country a lot of money.
The UAE spent Dhs2 million on cloud seeding operations in 2015, and have quadrupled their efforts so far in 2016.
National Centre of Meteorology & Seismology meterologist Sufian Farrah told Arabian Business that 75 cloud seeding operations were carried out in the first quarter of 2016 (whereas 186 happened in the whole of 2015). The increase in the number of operations this year is mostly due to the fact there are more viable clouds in the sky.
Farrah added that they expect positive conditions for seeding this summer due to a forecasted increase in the number of clouds.
Here’s a video that shows how cloud seeding works…
The cloud seeding process involves firing magnesium, sodium chloride and potassium chloride into clouds to produce rain.
The planes do most of their work in Fujairah and Khor Fakkan.
This news of more cloud seeding comes just over a month after the storm that hit the country in March.
Farrah told Arabian Business that cloud seeding is a far cheaper way to produce water than desalination and can produce one cubic metre of water for Dhs3.67 (while it costs Dhs220 to produce the same amount of water through desalination).
The UAE is currently using groundwater reserves more than 20 times faster than they can be recharged according to clean energy company Masdar.
In an effort to counteract this, the UAE government is offering up Dhs18 million in grants as part of its Rain Enhancement Programme, which will give money to up to five research and technology proposals that will try to find new ways to enhance rainfall in the desert. The winning innovators will have three years to carry out their research.