14 March 2007
Ian Macfarlane yesterday met Snowy Hydro Corporation representatives at Cooma to get a progress report on a $20 million cloud seeding trial that is being partly funded by the Commonwealth Government.
(above image of 2002-03 precipitation anomalies)
He says the drought is playing havoc with water storages in the high country, with lake levels at an all-time low and that is impacting on the production of renewable hydro-electric power and supplies of water for irrigators in the Murray-Darling Basin. (image above of 2005 temperature anomalies)
But he says the cloud seeding trial is showing promise.
"In terms of cloud seeding, the Snowy Mountains company is working on ways in which it can enhance the snowfalls," he said.
"It's a $20 million project. The Commonwealth Government has put $4 million towards that. That project is being run over six years.
"Initial research is showing a very positive effect of up to 10 per cent increase in the amount of snow falling in the target area."
(annual mean temperatures in Australia, below)