UAEREP announces grant recipients

The United Arab Emirates hosted the fifth grant award ceremony of the Research Programme for Rain Enhancement Science (UAEREP). Three research groups received the awards.

One of the awardees was a group of scientists from the UAE Institute of Technology Innovation with a project on laser remote sensing of precipitation. Also receiving grants were scientists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Michigan Technological University. The latter conducted research on the susceptibility of clouds to hygroscopic seeding.

His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahayan, Vice President of the UAE, stressed during the ceremony the importance of implementing the programme, which attracts scientists and researchers from different fields to develop innovations in the field of artificial precipitation enhancement.

Programme Director Alia Al Mazroui stressed that the challenges of water scarcity require collective efforts and the UAEREP programme continues to serve as a platform for sharing scientific expertise and innovations in the field of rainfall stimulation.

The winners were selected from eight applications submitted by 64 scientists from 35 institutes from ten countries. The proposals were thoroughly vetted by a committee of world experts in weather modification, hydrometeorology, climate modelling, remote sensing and artificial intelligence. Each winner will receive grants of US$ 1.5 million – spread over three years.

Cloud seeding operations increase average seasonal rainfall by 5-25 per cent in the United Arab Emirates, Nature Research previously reported. These efforts will thus bring the country an additional 168 million to 838 million cubic metres of rainfall annually.

In 2022, the UAE conducted 311 cloud-seeding missions, with aircraft spending more than 1,000 hours in the air. In comparison, they only flew 177 sorties in 2016. Experts from the National Centre for Meteorology have previously said that seeding can increase rainfall by about 30% in a clear atmosphere or 15% in a dusty atmosphere.

The UAE receives an average of 100 millimetres of rainfall every year. This water fills reservoirs, the water from which is used for agricultural purposes among other things. Experts say cloud seeding is 60 times cheaper than desalination.

Source: WAM

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