(excerpt from Gulf Times)
Expert urges study on cloud seeding in Qatar
Published: 7 June, 2006
By Diya Shammo
“A feasibility study should be conducted to determine if cloud seeding is beneficial in Qatar,” Dr Roelof T Bruintjes, a project scientist from the National Centre for Atmospheric Research in the US, has said.
Addressing a press conference at the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Agriculture yesterday, the expert described cloud seeding as a technique for producing rain in areas experiencing drought.
“Chemicals like silver iodide are dispersed into the air to allow water droplets or ice crystals to form more easily, and lead to rain,” said the visiting expert who also gave a presentation on the topic.
It would be ideal if all the countries in the region collaborated in this regard, he suggested, while recalling that the UAE had successfully conducted cloud seeding in the recent past.
Answering a question from the head of the General Department for Agricultural Research and Development (GDARD), Sheikh Falih bin Naser al- Thani, Dr Bruintjes said that the cost of the feasibility study was about QR5mn.
“Cloud seeding is cost-effective compared to the other technologies,” he stressed, while stating that the increase in rain through the process generally ranges from 50% to 100%.
The small size of Qatar would not affect the success of cloud seeding, as the project has been conducted in smaller areas and the percentage of rain increased.
However, air pollution negatively affects cloud seeding as well as natural rainfall in general.
A feasibility study would last two years. The main equipment needed for the study include mobile radar, and a special kind of aeroplane.