UAE: Cloud-seeding to help improve production of certain crops, tackle water scarcity

The country conducted 13 cloud-seeding missions within a week in January 2023 alone, which resulted in heavy downpours for a few days

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Waheed Abbas

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Published: Mon 20 Feb 2023, 4:16 PM

Last updated: Mon 20 Feb 2023, 5:29 PM

The UAE is using cloud-seeding to improve the production of certain crops as water scarcity is a major challenge not just for the country, but for the entire region.

The UAE has been using cloud seeding technology for several years now in order to improve groundwater levels. The country conducted 13 cloud-seeding missions within a week in January 2023 alone, which resulted in the country receiving heavy downpours for a few days.

“Cloud seeding is important, especially during the year when we are actually targeting certain crops and expanding our agricultural capabilities. This is monitored jointly by authorities that are responsible for cloud seeding and a lot of farms that we have in the Northern Emirates,” said Sharif Salim Alolama, under-secretary for energy and petroleum affairs at the UAE’s Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure.

The UAE is also looking to increase the contribution of the agriculture sector to the country’s economy.

Earlier this month, the world’s largest indoor vertical farm of its kind for research and development was opened in Abu Dhabi, spreading over 65,000 sqft. In November 2022, Sharjah launched a massive wheat farm in the Mleiha region with the first phase of the project, covering 400 hectares. The second phase of the project will see the area expanded to 880 hectares by 2024. By 2025, it will cover 1,400 hectares.

While speaking at the Arab Water Convention, Sharif Alolama added that the contribution of non-conventional water resources amounted to 50 per cent of the total water supply, including water produced from desalination and the reuse of treated water.

The under-secretary further explained that UAE will discuss enhanced cooperation with all stakeholders at COP28 in Dubai later this year.

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