Abu Dhabi - A new cloud seeding method that increases its effectiveness multifold may soon be used in the UAE, a top official has said.

“One project has reached its final phase where we will start using it for a research purpose. It is about a novel material that came out as a result of research by Khalifa University. The novel material enhances the effectiveness of the seeding up to three times more than the current material. Also, we are close to commercialisation of it where it will be manufactured and used in cloud seeding operations. This material will be manufactured here in the UAE,” said Alya Al Mazroui, director of the UAE Research Programme for Rain Enhancement Science, National Centre of Meteorology (NCM).

She highlighted the importance of cloud seeding and stressed that rain enhancement initiatives help boost rainfall by up to 25 per cent.

“The importance of rain enhancement is very high and this has been shown in the past studies that we’ve conducted. Some studies suggest that (rain enhancement) programmes enhance rain by up to 25 per cent in a clean atmosphere. However, it can vary in different situations,” said at NCM.

The UAE has been successfully using cloud seeding for nearly two decades to tackle water scarcity. Since 2015, the country has tried and tested different technologies to enhance rain, including the possibility of using drones to zap clouds.

The UAE records an average of 100mm of precipitation every year. However, in recent years, the intensity of rainfall has gradually increased.

In July this year, non-stop rainfall broke a 27-year record, with 255.2mm water at a station.

International collaboration

In an interview with Khaleej Times, Al Mazroui revealed that the UAE always pushes for strong collaboration among different scientific communities across different countries, including Arab nations.

“Whenever an idea is proposed, we always share it with different institutions from different countries for more effective deliverables. We need collaboration between multi sectors including academia, research institutions and private and government sectors for capacity building. When we come up with outcomes of a research report, we always transfer knowledge and technology with the Arab countries that need this to help them,” she said.

Al Mazroui was speaking during the recently-concluded 24th edition of the Water, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition (Wetex). The NCM showcased a number of initiatives and programmes in terms of rain enhancement at the exhibition.

The NCM also provided visitors with an insight into the Centre’s prominent role in supporting 11 research projects that received its grants over the programme’s four cycles.

Al Mazroui revealed during the next International Rain Enhancement Forum in January 2023, the Centre will announce the outcome of some projects and progress made on others to enhance rain.

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