During Driest Year on Record, California Seeks to Seed Clouds

For those of you who thought "cloud seeding" was science fiction, California has actually been refining the practice for more than six decades. As the state experiences its driest year on record, utilities are preparing their seeding systems.

"Once viewed by some as a fringe science, cloud seeding has entered the mainstream as a tool to pad the state’s crucial mountain snowpack," reports Matt Weiser. "New technology to manage the practice, and research that points to reliable results, have cemented cloud seeding as a dependable and affordable water-supply practice."

“'The message is starting to sink in that this is a cost-effective tool,' said Jeff Tilley, director of weather modification at the Desert Research Institute in Reno, which practices cloud seeding in the Lake Tahoe Basin and Eastern Sierra Nevada. 'The technology is better; we understand how to do cloud seeding much better. And because we know how to do it more effectively, it’s definitely taken more seriously.'”

"In a report this year, the California Department of Water Resources estimated these projects generate 400,000 acre-feet of additional water supply annually," notes Weiser. "They did so at an estimated cost of $2.27 per acre-foot, which is cheaper than almost any other water-supply option, including conservation projects."
Full Story: Cloud seeding, no longer magical thinking, is poised for use this winter

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