To secure the UAE’s water supplies in the long run


Photo credit: SciDevNet

Copyright: Frederic Courbet/Panos

UAE funds studies into making it rain in the desert

[The programme] will secure the UAE’s water supplies in the long run.” – Alya Al Mazroui

by Mannoura Egaiz

Speed read

  • Teams will research different elements of ‘cloud seeding’
  • German researchers will try to find best locations for seeding
  • Japanese team will focus on clouds and UAE team on new chemicals to use

The United Arab Emirates is to fund three research teams from around the world to work out how to make it rain over the Arabian Desert.

The teams, from Germany, Japan and the UAE, will share US$5 million from the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science. Each team will tackle a different aspect of an evolving technology called cloud seeding — in which a chemical is injected into the atmosphere from an aircraft to encourage water condensation and cloud formation in the hope that it will rain.

“[The programme] will secure the UAE’s water supplies in the long run, and support innovation to reach future solutions that enhance water security in the region and the world,” says programme director Alya Al Mazroui.

As part of the project, a team from Germany will try to find the best spots for seeding by looking at how weather convergence zones — places where two prevailing air flows meet — interact with land cover. The Japanese team will seek to develop new algorithms to identify the clouds most likely to be successfully seeded.

Read the full article: SciDevNet


Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.