Is it possible to make it snow or rain in Red Rock Canyon? According to one local organization, which is also soliciting money for a new cloud seeding operation. As the severe drought persists, the organization asserts that something must be done to rescue the red rock habitat.
Pauline van Betten, a land and water specialist at Save Red Rock, said, “If we have the potential to make it rain, we feel like we should make it rain.”
The idea is to seed the clouds, which is accomplished by launching particles into the atmosphere while clouds pass by, weighting them down, and forcing them to release the water inside.
Van Betten continued, “We see this as an opportunity to deliver water to this national treasure.”
Van Betten said, “We know that the animals are departing to head to Las Vegas anxiously looking for water.”
Save Red Rock contends that the ecology, particularly plants and animals, has been severely harmed by years of excessive drought in Red Rock Canyon.
Red Rock Canyon had a very different appearance 20 years prior to the start of the severe drought.
The Lower Cottonwood Springs had had a swimming hole that was 4 feet deep, and the Upper Cottonwood Springs once had a huge pond that was home to frogs and cattails, but both of these springs have been completely dry for years, according to van Betten.
On the latest cloud seeding initiative, Save Red Rock is collaborating with the Desert Research Institute. They responded to inquiries during a webinar. “When discussing a cloud seeding program, three common queries arise, the first of which is plainly, does it work? The answer is yes, it does work, despite the fact that it may seem illogical to be able to just release dust into the atmosphere and have it snow, claimed Frank McDonough, Program Director of the Desert Research Institute.”
The plan is to position generators atop a mountain and fire silver iodide into the sky. McDonough said, “We’re going to deliberately inject specific ice-forming dust into clouds with liquid water.”
According to Save Red Rock, cloud seeding may be able to provide the parched canyon millions of gallons of much-needed snow and rain. When the storms got cold enough to achieve this, we would start seeding about November 15th, according to McDonough.
To make their goal come true, Save Red Rock is accepting donations from now through September 30. They have so far raised roughly $30,000 of their $150,000 goal.