U.S. Water News Online
CASPER, Wyo. -- Wyoming water officials hope that
eventually cloud seeding will increase the snowfall on Wyoming
mountains by 10 percent by catching moisture before it moves on and
"Cloud seeding is not a drought-busting tool," said Barry Lawrence
of the Wyoming Water Development Commission. "This is more of a
Wyoming has approved a five-year study to measure the effects of
cloud seeding on several mountain ranges. Lawrence said the program,
which will cost nearly $9 million, is expected to run from Nov. 15
through March 30 each year.
Bruce Boe, director of meterology for Weather Modification, Inc.,
said cloud seeding, "helps to improve soil moisture, streamflows,
reduce groundwater mining and fill reservoirs."
Boe said Wyoming would suspend cloud-seeding if it causes
precipitation well above normal levels. He said the program would
also be suspended once the target snowpack levels are reached, in
advance of large storms and in case of flood and avalanche warnings.
The cloud seeding program won't start Nov. 15 this year because of
unanticipated environmental permitting issues, Boe said. He said the
program is unlikely to start this year but will begin as soon as
"It's much more important to do it right than to rush into it,"
Wyoming's cloud-seeding plans call for using 24 ground-based
silver iodide stations and a turbo-prop aircraft to speed up ice
formation within clouds.
Officials say the process will cost between $8 to $13 per acre
foot of water, compared to the $2,500 per acre foot cost of building
a new dam and reservoir.
Steve Hunter with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation said Utah is
using liquid propane in addition to silver iodide burners to claim
additional moisture. He said he's excited about Wyoming's plans.
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