Amidst heatwaves and arid climate, the United Aran Emirates is testing a new technology using drones to create rain by zapping clouds with electricity.
The new technology incorporates drones to fly in the clouds and give them an electric shock to trigger rain production.
UAE’s National Center of Meteorology recently published a series of videos on Instagram of heavy rains in part of the country. Was a pleasant sight to watch water gushing past trees, cars driving on rain-soaked roads. The video was tagged as #cloudseeding and accompanied by radar images.
View this post on Instagram
The recent rains have been reported to be part of the drone cloud seeding project, according to The Independent.
Already UAE has witnessed nearly 200 cloud seeding operations in the first half of 2020 after deciding to use cloud seeding methods using salt flares.
Cloud seeding has been used in other countries including the US are China, India, and Thailand. Nevada has witnessed an increase of 10% in its snowpack, as published by the American Meteorological Society.
According to the State of Wyoming, a 10-year cloud seeding experiment in Wyoming resulted in 5-10% increases in the snowpack.
The National Center of Meteorology website mentioned UAE as being the first country in the Arab Gulf region to use cloud seeding technology.
In an interview with BBC, Maarten Ambaum, a researcher and member of the team that worked on the drone initiative said, “the aim of the UAE’s project is to change the balance of electrical charge on the cloud droplets, causing water droplets to clump together and fall as rain when they are big enough.”
Water security remains one of the UAE’s main future challenges as the country relies on groundwater for two-thirds of its water needs. With local rainfall levels, high temperatures, and high evaporation rates of surface water the demand for water is increasing with a high population.
Presently the rain enhancement projects are implemented in the country’s mountainous north-east regions, where heaps of round clouds gather in the summer, according to the National Center of Meteorology.