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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 19 June 2018

Water scarcity in sharp focus as Abu Dhabi hosts rain enhancement forum 

Improvements in cloud seeding on the agenda 

A cloud-seeding plane flies near the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. Courtesy: National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology
A cloud-seeding plane flies near the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. Courtesy: National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology

The latest methods to help boost the amount of rainfall in some of the world's driest regions will be examined as a special forum that opened at the 2018 Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week on Tuesday.

Held over three days, the UAE Research Programme for Rain Enhancement Science’s Second International Forum on Rain Enhancement Science provides a platform for discussion about latest research and potential innovations in the quest for global water security, news agency Wam reported.

Every year, the country gives substantial funding to scientists and researchers to help develop new ways to boost rainfall.

"Over the next three days, the forum will see the exchange and discussion of some of the most cutting-edge ideas with the potential to boost water security for vulnerable populations around the world," said Dr Abdulla Al Mandous, director of the National Centre of Meteorology.

"Through its commitment to leading international collaboration on this vitally important challenge, the UAE is once again showing its readiness to promote the innovation needed to make a real difference."

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Since it was by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, the UAE Research Programme for Rain Enhancement Science has established itself as a leading international focal point for cutting-edge scientific advances based on the analysis and the implementation of new technologies specifically developed to improve knowledge of weather, clouds and precipitation.

The programme’s three First Cycle awardees, based in UAE, Japan and Germany, are undertaking projects on the use of nanotechnology to accelerate water condensation, the potential of innovative algorithms to enhance knowledge of cloud characteristics and precipitation, and land cover modification to enhance precipitation.

Further projects led by Second Cycle awardees, featuring leading researchers from the US, Finland and UK, are working respectively on leveraging ice production processes in cumulus clouds, quantifying atmospheric aerosols in precipitation enhancement, and analysing the electrical properties of clouds, also commenced in 2017.