UAE rains: New technology to boost effectiveness of cloud seeding by 3 times

A novel material, that was discovered as a result of research done by Khalifa University, will be manufactured in the Emirates



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by

Waheed Abbas

Published: Tue 4 Oct 2022, 6:37 AM

Last updated: Thu 13 Oct 2022, 4:34 PM

A new cloud seeding method that increases its effectiveness multifold may soon be used in the UAE, an official has said.

“One of the UAE Rain Enhancement Research Program’s (UAEREP) key projects has reached its final phase where we will start using its findings for a research purpose. Developed by a researcher at Khalifa University, the research project titled ‘Using nanotechnology to accelerate the water condensation nucleation and growth,’ aims to produce a novel cloud seeding material.

"This material enhances the effectiveness of the seeding activity up to three times compared to the current material. Also, we have initial plans to take the production of this material into commercialization stage. This material will be manufactured here in the UAE,” said Alya Al Mazroui, director of the program managed by National Centre of Meteorology (NCM).

Al Mazroui was speaking during the recently-concluded 24th edition of the Water, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition (Wetex), where NCM showcased its initiatives and programmes aimed at advancing rain enhancement science and technology.

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

“The studies we have conducted in the past have shown the importance of cloud seeding in improving precipitation. Some of them suggest that cloud seeding can enhance rain by up to 25 per cent in a clean atmosphere. However, it can vary in different situations,” Al Mazroui added.

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 release electrical charges into 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 the scientific community across the world, including Arab nations.

“Whenever an idea is proposed, we share it with relevant institutions from different countries for more effective deliverables. To ensure effective capacity building, it is imperative that we build multi-sectoral collaboration across academia, research institutions and private and government sectors. When we produce some important outcomes from our research work, our aim is to transfer knowledge and technology with other countries to maximize our research impact,” she added.

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

Al Mazroui also revealed that the UAEREP will announce the outcomes and progress made by some of its awardee projects during the next International Rain Enhancement Forum in January 2023.

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