RIYADH — Saudi Arabia’s Regional Cloud Seeding Program announced that it has carried out as many as 451 flights for cloud seeding and research with a total of 1,424 flight hours during the year 2023. This included 415 flights for cloud seeding taking 1,312:45 flight hours and 36 flights for research and study with a duration of 111:29 flight hours.

The operations were undertaken by four cloud seeding planes and a research plane covering six regions of the Kingdom, according to the report released by the Regional Cloud Seeding Program. During these operations, 7876 burners were launched, resulting in 15 minutes of rain with a total estimated rains of four billion cubic meters, according to the program’s research studies.

Executive Director of the Cloud Seeding Program Ayman Al-Bar said that the program has so far completed four phases, covering most regions of the Kingdom, while work is currently underway within the fifth phase. “The cloud seeding technology works to increase the quantity and quality of rain for certain types of clouds in order to exploit its properties and stimulate and accelerate the process of rainfall on pre-defined areas. This is done through aircraft designated to seed fine materials that have no harm to the environment in specific places of clouds. It is one of the ways to contribute to maintaining the water balance, as it is a safe, flexible and inexpensive super technology,” he said.

The Regional Cloud Seeding Program is one of the achievements of the Middle East Green Initiative announced by Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman. The operations for the first phase of the cloud seeding program were launched on April 27, 2022, through the participation of highly qualified and skilled Saudi staff, in order to increase precipitation levels, create new sources of water, increase green space and intensify vegetation to face desertification, and mitigate drought

This program is part of a series of integrated national initiatives that aimed to promote sustainable development, preserve the environment, and search for additional ways to secure new water sources and increase the Kingdom’s natural capabilities. It also contributes to reducing desertification and increasing green spaces in accordance with the Vision 2030.

It is worth mentioning that the research aircraft is part of a group of aircraft belonging to the Regional Cloud Seeding Program, which includes four aircraft for cloud seeding operations, and an aircraft for research and studies.

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