The head of the Meteorological and Environmental Protection Administration, Saleh al-Shahri, said 11 planes are being used in the current phase, together with a high-tech network of mobile cloud physics radars, a communication and satellite network, and experts from various Saudi universities and research centers.
Shahri told Saudi newspaper Al-Riyadh that the program is part of the kingdom's ongoing efforts to counter the scarcity of water, especially since ground water is subject to depletion.
He said a unique meteorological phenomenon that happens in Riyadh province constitutes a major challenge to the cloud seeding process.
Cloud seeding, a form of weather modification, is the attempt to change the amount or type of precipitation that falls from clouds, by dispersing substances into the air that serve as cloud condensation or ice nuclei.
Other water sources in the kingdom include reclaimed or desalinated sea water.
"Cloud seeding is a more secure resource and with lesser costs," Shahri said.
The average annual rainfall for Saudi Arabia is around 4.4 inches (112 mm) per year but whole regions may not experience rainfall for several years.
Last Mod: 25 Mart 2008, 12:33