Cloud seeding: taking off in West Africa
Updated - Wednesday 16 June 2004
Cloud seeding, the practice of firing salt-based chemicals (silver iodide) into clouds to provide additional rain, has proved so successful in Burkina Faso that the programme could soon be extended to other countries in West Africa, the Inter State Committee Against Drought in the Sahel (CILSS) has said. The Burkinabe government has estimated that cash earnings from agriculture have increased by 10 to 15 per cent since it began the cloud seeding programme in 1998. Mali and Niger are expected to begin cloud seeding in 2005 at the latest. CILSS organised a meeting in Ouagadougou from 25-28 May 2004 with potential donors to seek the US$ 60 million needed to extend the programme across all nine CILSS countries for five years, i.e. Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Gambia, Guinea Bissau and Senegal.
Cloud seeding involves releasing silver iodide, usually from a plane, into an existing cloud formation. The silver iodide acts as giant condensation nuclei. Because it is expensive and does not always yield results, the CILSS project includes establishing more meteorological stations and sophisticated radars to monitor cloud formations so that the rain-bearing potential of each cloud mass can be more accurately evaluated.
For more information on cloud seeding see:
Weather Modification, Inc., Cloud Seeding, http://www.weathermod.com/services/cloud_seed.ph...
Utah Cloud Seeding Home Page, http://www.water.utah.gov/cloudseeding/
Cloud Seeding, in: Sourcebook of Alternative Technologies for Freshwater Augmentation in Africa, http://www.unep.or.jp/ietc/Publications/TechPubl...
Source: IRIN, 20 May 2004
Tags: water collection
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