Many human beings suffer in areas around the world from a lack of water security, says the figures that about half of people could face water shortages over the next decade, so, some scientists consider the development of techniques rainmaking for the distribution of rainfall on areas according to their needs, and this can contribute In achieving water security.
Drought is one of the biggest problems that we humans face, especially in countries that lie on or near the equator . There, people suffer from frequent water shortages and cuts, billions are spent on projects to draw and secure water, and the rainwater technology is considered one of the promising technologies that may contribute In solving this problem.
What is cloud seeding?
To understand what cloudiness is and how it is done, we must first understand what clouds are and how water is found in them. In fact, clouds consist of a huge number of water droplets that are in the form of liquid or vapor droplets or even in the form of ice crystals, which are caused by the evaporation of water from the surface Earth is under the influence of the sun’s heat.
Precipitation occurs when water molecules in clouds become too heavy to carry, and they fall to the ground under the influence of gravity.
Rainfall is a process that aims to induce clouds and clouds to empty water droplets, by spraying chemicals that contribute to increasing the weight of water droplets, so these drops fall automatically as a result of their weight.
How is cloud seeding?
The idea of cloud seeding began in 1946, when scientists working for the American General Electric Company found that we could use a chemical found in nature to promote the conversion of raindrops in the clouds into frozen crystals, this substance is silver iodide (AgI), and scientists suggested using it in low concentrations. In the seeding process.
Silver iodide has been widely used and has proven effective in this, but scientists have found that other chemical compounds have the same effect, such as sodium chloride (table salt) and potassium chloride.
In the cloud seeding process, silver iodide is sprayed into the clouds to turn water vapor and droplets into heavy-weight frozen crystals, causing them to fall off.
Silver iodide is usually sprayed with airplanes, and when this substance enters the clouds, it makes the droplets condensate and weighs more.
The effect of spraying silver iodide occurs minutes after it reaches the clouds, or about 30 minutes after, depending on the technique used in cloud seeding. The fastest way to stimulate precipitation is to use planes that fly over the clouds and spray small amounts of silver iodide.
In most cases, the raining technique is used in the winter season, when the clouds are wet, and if the winter season is dry, then the raining techniques are useless, because the clouds in the dry winter season do not contain enough water vapor (humidity).
The seeding process is supervised by experts in monitoring the weather and monitoring clouds during the rainy season, and when these experts find that the conditions are suitable for carrying out the cloudiness, they supervise the process.
The raining process requires an assessment of the effects of precipitation as well, and sometimes the raining process is dangerous and causes damage and disasters such as floods or soil erosion in the event of a lot of rain, so all these effects must be evaluated before using the raining technique.
Many countries are now using cloud seeding technology, according to information released by the World Meteorological Organization, 56 countries used cloud seeding technology in 2016.
During the 2008 Olympic Games, China used cloud seeding technology to prevent rain at the venue of the Games, by stimulating precipitation before clouds reached the Olympic Games area.
In short, rain rain is a technique used to control the amount of precipitation over a specific geographic area.
What is the benefit of the cloud seeding technique? What are its effects?
The cloud seeding process is used in many regions of the world to help control rain and snow during the winter season, and this technology can help increase the water supply to an area in dire need of a water source.
The seeding process can include one or more clouds, and it does not affect the climate or change temperatures significantly, so it is considered a safe technique.
The seeding process does not affect the drought, because during the dry season, the clouds are not wet, meaning they do not contain water, and the clouds may not be present at all during the dry season, which means that the seeding technology will be useless. Therefore, the greening process is not considered a solution to the drought problem that occurs in a number of parts of the earth.
As for the negative effects, the cloudiness process uses small quantities of silver iodide, and it has been proven that this substance when used in small quantities does not cause any negative impact on the environment or climate.
How effective is cloud seeding?
Until now, the issue of the effectiveness of rain showers resulting from cloudiness is still the subject of scientific debate, as the results on this topic are different and varied, and there are many scientists who doubt the effectiveness of this technique.
However, in general, the rain cloud means that are used at this time are somewhat useful and effective, the goal of which is to increase the rate of rain precipitation over a geographical area, and because the rainfalls increase when we use the cloudiness techniques, we can say that they are effective and useful techniques that make a difference.
However, we cannot determine the difference that this technology makes, which means that it is difficult to judge the extent of its success in numbers, because scientists and meteorologists cannot determine whether the rain showers are caused by the cloudiness process or are natural rain showers.
But a comparison between the average precipitation in previous years that did not use the cloud seeding technique and the years in which this technology was used makes us find a clear difference, as raining has clearly contributed to an increase of 10-15% of precipitation.
Do Arab countries use cloud seeding technology?
Yes, this technology was used on a large scale in the United Arab Emirates, and the first attempts were in the 1990s, and it is still continuing today. In 2016, for example, the UAE conducted about 177 cloud seeding operations over its lands.
The UAE carries out cloud seeding operations to provide water, as this country has a natural precipitation rate of no more than 100 millimeters per year, and the state spends billions to provide a source of water for its people by building plants to desalinate seawater and make it drinkable. It is a very expensive process and requires advanced technologies. Therefore, raining is a promising idea to provide water to the UAE population.
The cost of carrying out the seeding process is much lower than the cost of desalinating sea water, as obtaining 1 cubic meter of water in the cloud seeding process costs about 1 cent, while the cost of obtaining 1 cubic meter of water by desalinating sea water is about 60 cents, which is a big difference. This means that the cloud seeding process is more efficient, beneficial, and less costly than desalination.
According to the National Weather Center, cloud seeding operations in the United Arab Emirates contributed to an increase in the precipitation rate by 30-35 percent when the weather was clear, and by 15 percent when the weather was dusty.