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EghtesadOnline: After a two-year delay, cloud seeding has been restored and new projects are planned in seven provinces, head of the National Cloud Seeding Research Center of Iran said.

Farid Golkar said the projects will be carried out next week using planes and drones, ISNA reported.

“Operations will be undertaken in Yazd, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari, Kohgiluye and Boyer-Ahmad, Isfahan, Kerman and Fars provinces,” he said. The system cannot function when there is no rain, Financial Tribune quoted him as saying.

Cloud seeding was shelved in 2018 (one of the driest years in 70 years) and 2019 due to budgetary constraints.

According to the official, cloud seeding can enhance rainfall by as much as 30% in a clear atmosphere, and by up to 15% in a turbid atmosphere.

Located in an arid and semi-arid region, Iran has suffered from drought for decades. “We must control water consumption. However, when the rains stay away, precipitation can be seen with the help of cloud seeding.” 

Cloud seeding, a form of weather modification, is a way of attempting to change the amount or type of precipitation by dispersing substances into the air, which serve as cloud condensation or ice nuclei, and alter the cloud's microphysical processes.

According to official data, the projects have been undertaken (not regularly) since 2008 in several provinces namely Tehran, East and West Azarbaijan, Gilan and Mazandaran.

Regarding sites where the project will be implemented, Golkar said: "The focus is on watershed areas where dams  provide space for water storage. There are also sites like plains and rangelands with no dams, but for which rainfall is equally important. We are planning to cover those areas.”

According to Golkar, despite the fact that cloud seeding can increase rainfall, the scope of such programs is limited and cannot exceed more than 140 kilometers. 

It is not possible to increase precipitation all over the country with the help of this technology. In the best case scenario it works in a limited region.


Iran Cloud Seeding Provinces Planned