Cloud seeding to be back in Karnataka for two monsoons

  1. The Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department of Karnataka has called tenders for cloud seeding operations to enhance rainfall during the monsoons of 2019 and 2020. This decision for cloud seeding comes in the backdrop of deficient rainfall in 2018-19 and consequent drought in 176 taluks of Karnataka.
  2. Cloud seeding is a type of weather modification procedure. It is an artificial way to induce moisture in the clouds so as to cause a rainfall. In this process, silver iodide, potassium chloride and sodium chloride is sprayed on the clouds by using an aircraft. The chemicals condense smaller particles into larger rain droplets.
  3. Karnataka had previously used cloud seeding in 2003, 2009 and 2017. In 2017, the Karnataka government had successfully carried out a cloud seeding exercise called Project Varshadhare. An independent evaluation committee had estimated that the project led to rainfall enhancement of 27.9%.
  4. Cloud seeding operations in India requires multiple approvals from different government departments, viz. Ministry of Defence (MoD), the Indian Air Force, Intelligence Bureau and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) – the regulatory body in field of Civil Aviation.