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Drought woes? This tech can literally make it rain | |Climate Change

 Drought woes? This tech can literally make it rain | Mission Ahead

as long as if you guys are creating clouds out of nowhere you actually target storm systems if theres no clouds in the sky that have any moisture in them then we cant do anything what we can do is tap into whats there and assist mother nature kind of like a steroid kick for the glass exactly Music in all of its forms water powers are very existence the droplets epic journey from sky to see is an elegant loop that sustains all life on this planet but today about a billion people are living in water scarce areas in the United States theres California where in one single year a historic drought cost the state over jobs and nearly two billion dollars in lost revenue the effects of climate change and the strain of an ever growing population have combined to disrupt global water supplies but what if we could hack into the water cycle and unlock more precious water from the clouds a decades old technology long shunned by science may hold the key since the experiments of dr Vincent Schaefer we have known that some clouds can be modified through seeding to yield additional precipitation what exactly is cloud seeding cloud seeding is really an enhancement of the natural precipitation process so basically youre just making the storm more efficient getting more moisture out of it exactly yet to do that pilots target clouds full of moisture and eject small amounts of an inert chemical then the water in the cloud condenses around the new particles and gets heavy falling to the ground as precipitation Bryan kindred is one of the companys pilots he steers right into the heart of storms to fire off a special kind of pyrotechnic and whats inside of these guys its a silver iodide mixture the idea is that will be above some liquid water and as its falling through itll turn it to snow so it can fall out of the cloud since the 1940s people have been seeding clouds and watching the effects with their own eyes but theres always been something missing the cold hard scientific evidence to back it up and that changed recently in at the National Science foundationfunded a study to determine cloud seeding effectiveness once and for all weather modification international provided the planes a team of scientists set out into the Idaho mountains with Doppler radars and stateoftheart weather stations to record what happens on the ground when planes above are cloud seeding Music Music and what did you guys find the aircraft flies through that and you can see the ice crystals grow right on the radar and you can see the snow showers form and as they pass over the mound you can see the snow very visually and conclusively is produced from the cloud seeding aircraft that just flew through that particular cloud system radar images show how ice crystals formed in the clouds in the exact pattern that weather modifications pilots were flying the longawaited scientific proof that cloud seeding was working had finally arrived but theres still questions about its longterm effects how does making it rain in Idaho affect what happens a state over who owns the precious water in those clouds and the effects of silver iodide on the environment are still debated for now national weather bodies have yet to endorse the practice of cloud seeding I think that people get a little anxious when they hear about people sort of playing the weather God which in a way you guys are kind of doing here were not really playing God I think thats really overstating what were doing human activity affects the weather all of the time were being very specific and targeted and environmentally friendly in what were doing to enhance the national natural precipitation enhance the natural process it turns out that some companies will pay millions to enhance the weather companies like Idaho Power the company serves more than customers with a network that includes hydroelectric power plants to them water is money lets do this Idaho Power has invested over three million dollars in the cloud seeding program to increase the snowpack at the states highest peaks why is it so essential to increase the snowpack up here because were on the front end and the top end of the food chain for water so thats what feeds our streams and rivers and feeds our hydro system later in the summer and fall and thats really when we need that extra energy how much precipitation are we talking about in regrets the increase in snowpack as a result of these systems were seeing generally in that to percent increase how many homes can that power like what are you getting out of that on average thats in excess of homes according to Idaho power last years cloud seeding program has provided a percent return thats million dollars worth of water that otherwise might have never fallen on these mountaintops with cloud seeding and a program such as this its a huge benefit to someone like Idaho Power but that additional water is also there for the municipalities its there for agriculture its there for consumption so everybody is benefiting do you see cloud seeding as a potential drought solution what kind of impact you think that cloud seeding can actually make so cloud city is part of the solution as part of a healthy water management program were not going to solve large climate shifts in in areas but if you went back and looked in California and said if we had an additional of snowpack and precipitation over the last years what be the different story that we have now itd be significant again man looks to his own efforts to increase the flow of water and once again clouds are forming in the mouth on a moist Southwest with '