Advocates and scientists in Southern Nevada are celebrating the passage of a bill authorizing funding for cloud seeding projects across the state.
In June, Gov. Joe Lombardo signed Senate Bill 99 into law, making a $1.2 million appropriation to Desert Research Institute for cloud seeding projects for two years. The law goes into effect July 1.
Cloud seeding is a weather modification technique used by several states that involves shooting dust or “tiny ice nuclei” into existing clouds to increase their likelihood—and amount—of precipitation. Desert Research Institute has conducted several cloud-seeding projects in the Spring Mountains, including last fall at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.
The Red Rock Canyon project, which was funded by Save Red Rock Canyon, provided “measurable success,” according to that nonprofit and sources at Desert Research Institute.
“The efforts of Save Red Rock raised awareness of the science of cloud seeding and funded a cloud-seeding generator, resulting in more than 6,500 acre-feet of water added back into the aquifers of the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area,” reads a statement from Desert Research Institute program director Frank McDonough.
Scientists expect cloud seeding projects to continue helping alleviate the effects of drought in the state. –Shannon Miller