With the widespread drought that has affected so many areas of the US, weather modification programs are ongoing in several states. This week one California county is debating whether to fund a more-than-$300,000 contract for cloud seeding in the hope of replenishing severely depleted reservoirs.
The practice of cloud seeding has been around for years, beginning with research performed in the 1940s. Basically, silver iodide is dropped or injected into clouds, causing ice crystals to form and resulting in precipitation. Santa Barbara County, which is currently looking at a new contract, has been paying for the practice off and on since 1981, sharing the cost with water purveyors in the region. The county has suspended the cloud seeding in years following major wildfires, however, when excessive rainfall could have exacerbated erosion.
Within the scientific community, there is still some question as to how effective cloud seeding really is. In a 2003 report, the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, under the auspices of the National Science Foundation, noted that it’s difficult to quantify how much precipitation is actually caused by seeding, versus what would have occurred naturally without the practice. Nonetheless, the report noted, 66 such programs were ongoing in 10 states.
StormCon Call for Papers Deadline Is November 14
StormCon, the North American Surface Water Quality Conference and Exposition, is now seeking abstracts for presentations at StormCon 2014. The conference will take place August 3 – 7, 2014, in Portland, OR. Abstracts are due November 14, 2013.
We are seeking abstracts in seven conference tracks:
* BMP Case Studies
* Green Infrastructure
* Stormwater Program Management
* Water-Quality Monitoring
* Industrial Stormwater Management
* Advanced Research Topics
* Coastal Protection
More information on the conference and the individual tracks is available at www.StormCon.com, along with an online abstract submittal form.