(excerpts from USGS Kansas History:)
July 1, 1974--The Western Kansas Weather Modification Program began.
The Kansas Water Office (KWO) administrates the provisions of the Kansas Weather Modification Act which authorizes it to licence and issue permits for the cloud-seeding program (hail suppression and rainfall augmentation) of the Western Kansas Groundwater Management District No. 1.
KWO also authorizes licenses and issues permits for other cloud-seeding programs that may operate in adjacent States and areas of Kansas that are close to the primary target area.
(from Western Kansas Groundwater Management District #1:)
- Weather Modification Program
[One] program that WKGMD No.1 sponsors is an operational weather modification program.
This program was initiated in 1975 in an attempt to increase the natural rainfall and reduce crop-damaging hail in Western Kansas during the growing season.
After following the experimental work that was done in the early 70's in Northwest Kansas, it was the feeling of the district that we could perhaps reduce the stress being imposed on our groundwater resources.
This program has been conducted each year since that time.
Due to the interest received from other counties, this program has enlarged to include most all of Southwest Kansas.
In comparing six counties that had continuously participated in the program each year and eight counties in Northwest Kansas that had never been involved in seeding, they found a twenty seven (27) percent reduction in crop damaging damaging hail.
Since 1987, when the seeding agent was modified, they found hail reductions approaching fifty (50) percent.
There have now been seven evaluations conducted on this program with all indicating positive benefits.
The district now owns eight aircraft that we utilize on this program.
As funding permits, we are able to fly some of these aircraft each year.
Funding is provided by the participating counties, groundwater management districts, and occasionally from the State of Kansas.
Given the difficult times we are presently encountering, we have been flying only four of these aircraft each season.
The seeding season generally runs from mid April through mid September.
(Excerpt Below from: Western Kansas Weather Modification Program:)
Within our primary target area during the crop growing season the Western Kansas Weather Modification Program (WKWMP) objectives are two fold:
(1) to reduce crop and property damaging hail to the best of our ability.
(2) to optimize usable precipitation during the growing season
We employ leading edge seeding techniques and technology. Our methods have been
scientifically researched and are mainstream within the weather modification community.
We are operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from April 18th through Sept. 16th this year to provide this service to 11 counties in Western and Southwestern Kansas.