U.S. Water Crisis: Western States Turn to Cloud Seeding to Fight Worst Drought in 1,200 Years

Western states in U.S. turning to cloud seeding to save them from historic drought.


NSFW    CHEYENNE, WYOMING — U.S. cloud seeding explainer.

Western U.S. states in the midst of a two decade-long drought that is the worst in 1,200 years are turning to cloud seeding to increase the water supply, according to CNN, with Wyoming a recent adopter of the method.

The process involves inserting silver iodide crystals, which have a shape similar to ice crystals, into clouds so supercooled water droplets accumulate around them and gain enough mass to form snowflakes.

Proponents say studies prove more snow is created than otherwise would have fallen and that at $28 to $34 per acre foot it represents one effective countermeasure against droughts.

However, seeding cannot be done without clouds that are going to produce a certain amount of snow anyway, and some are concerned it is effectively stealing snow from other areas rather than making more.

UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain told CNN: “It may be, at least on a regional basis, a zero-sum game where if water falls out of the cloud in one spot, it’s even drier by the time it makes it downwind.”

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