Saudi Arabia approves cloud-seeding program to induce more rainfall

Clouds gather over the four-faced Mecca Clock Tower, during the annual haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca October 21, 2012. (Reuters)

Saudi Arabia plans to artificially induce more rainfall in the Kingdom as the cabinet approved on Tuesday a program for cloud-seeding presented by the minister of environment, water, and agriculture.

Ayman Ghulam, vice president of the General Authority for Meteorology and Environment Protection, told Al Arabiya on Wednesday tests will be conducted in the Kingdom’s southwest region, and if the experiments are successful the process will be implemented all over the country.

To seed a cloud, pilots introduce a chemical agent, commonly silver iodide or salt crystals. It draws moisture to itself, allowing the cloud’s water vapor to condense into droplets and produce rain, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

The Kingdom relies mainly on desalinated water and is one of the largest producers of desalinated water in the world and is home to some of the world’s largest desalination plants.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 10:01 - GMT 07:01