Low monsoon and negligible rains is becoming a common problem across the nation from the past few years. It can have drastic effects on various aspects of our life and our very survival. Besides, as a developing nation, our country is undergoing rapid industrialization and at the same time a major part of our work force is employed at the agricultural sector. Both these sectors rely heavily on water and rains. Scarcity of usable water can dwindle our economy by affecting these two sectors. Thus, the government is trying to focus on a variety of possible means to extract as much water as possible to combat the decreasing monsoon. To overcome this problem, one very effective and radical solution is “Cloud Seeding.”
What is Cloud Seeding and how it works?
Cloud seeding is the artificial process of getting rain, by weather modification. Rainfall happens when supercooled droplets of water, become too heavy to remain suspended in air, fall and melts on their way to cause rain. Cloud seeding helps to get this process occur by altering precipitation,using chemicals such as silver iodide, potassium iodide and dry ice, spread through planes.
This process otherwise occurs naturally in the atmosphere. By the process of cloud seeding we can not only introduce rains but also enhance its amount in order to get more water in the target area or region. For this process, a variety of professionals are involved such as the meteorologists, pilots, aircraft technicians, radar engineers, etc. With time, the technology has undergone tremendous development in order to improvise the technique of delivering the rain inducing particles in the clouds as well as to monitor the seeded clouds so as to track the process and its results.
Why Cloud Seeding is important for a country like India?
In a country like India, cloud seeding has now become a necessity. This is so because Indian agriculture is largely dependent on rains and monsoons for crops. The everyday requirement of water is rising steeply. But this demand is not being fulfilled by the natural rains and natural stores of water. Even the ground water level is receding fast. Thus, cloud seeding has become even more important as it will not just meet the water needs but also replenish the ground water reserve. In fact, cloud seeding is the most cost effective means of getting excess water by improving rainfall. It is a very viable option as compared to other means. Perhaps it is the major reason why the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai has already prepared a tender for cloud seeding. In fact, the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology has been consulted by Karnataka Government for advice on cloud seeding. Many other states are also in talk with various companies that offer cloud seeding services. It is being expected that in 2015 and 2016 some detailed experiments on cloud seeding will be carried out.
Companies providing Cloud seeding services in India
A number of companies in our country specialize in cloud seeding services. Agni Aero Sports Adventure Academy is one of the most prominent names when it comes to cloud seeding companies. One of the consultants of this reputed organization has revealed that prominent people in the nation from government to tea estate owners to even a few insurance agencies have been consulting them as they have been considering the cloud seeding option. Other prominent companies involved in the cloud seeding business include Kyathi Climate Modification Consultants and Myavani.
Cloud seeding use in other countries
US, South Africa and Russia this technique is used as part of water resource management. China has the largest cloud seeding system. They have been using this technique to increase rains in various parts of their nation, including the capital Beijing. In order to clear the air pollution before the 2008 Olympics, China used the means of cloud seeding. In the next year, i.e. 2009, Beijing experienced its earliest snowfall ever since 1987 thanks to cloud seeding method. This technique has been very successful in the country for overcoming water shortage. India can expecting similar results.
However, cloud seeding is not an “all-good” option. It has certain drawbacks. Already the climate of the Earth has been tampered enough due to our unsustainable means of living and decreasing concern towards the environment. By cloud seeding, though we will be able to get more rain and water, it will only meddle the climate further because it is not the natural process occurring by itself. Thus, a lot of things need to be considered before making use of this technique to interfere with the nature’s course to meet yet another human demand.