UAE to distribute $1.5 million for rain enhancement projects

The grant facilitates the transition of the projects from theory to practice, provided that the winners commence implementation within two months

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Angel Tesorero

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Published: Fri 29 Dec 2023, 2:26 PM

Last updated: Fri 29 Dec 2023, 2:32 PM

Grants of up to $1.5 million will be distributed next month to winning research proposals under the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science (UAEREP) aimed at boosting water security.

The National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) said the awardees of the programme’s fifth cycle will be announced on January 23 at Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi.

UAEREP – launched in 2015 by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Vice-President, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court, to address water security – offers grants of up to $1.5 million distributed over three years to each winning research proposal.

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The grant facilitates the transition of the projects from theory to practice, provided that the winning projects commence implementation within two months after the announcement of the awardees, NCM noted.

Collaborate and contribute

Dr. Abdulla Al Mandous, NCM director general and president of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), said UAEREP “provides an additional opportunity for local, regional and international experts and research institutions to collaborate and contribute to the pursuit of water sustainability through cutting-edge scientific research and advanced technologies.”

A total of eight proposals submitted by 64 researchers, scientists and experts affiliated with 35 institutions in 10 countries, including the UAE, were shortlisted for the fifth cycle.

The projects were evaluated by experts and specialists in weather modification applications, hydro-meteorology, weather and climate modelling, cloud physics, remote sensing, and artificial intelligence.

Practical solutions

UAEREP director Alya Al Mazroui of the UAEREP, said innovation plays a crucial role “in the development of highly effective technologies and practical solutions essential for ensuring water security in arid and semi-arid regions worldwide.”

According to UN, water stress and water scarcity are a big concern in many parts of the world, with about 2.4 billion living in water-stressed countries, including 733 million who live in critically water-stressed countries. The challenges are compounded by conflicts and climate change.

Al Mazroui said: “We have been dedicated to providing support and funding for a diverse range of innovative technologies, and we are confident that the newly selected projects will build upon this legacy, introducing novel innovations to advance the field of rain enhancement science research.”

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