Project Varshadhare for "cloud seeding"

What is Project Varshadhare ?

Amid continuous drought from last few years and fear of another year of drought, the Karnataka State government initiated "Project Varshadhare", a ₹35-crore cloud seeding programme in 2017.

Under the project two planes sprayed sodium chloride, potassium chloride and silver iodide in the hope of condensing smaller particles into larger rain droplets, between August and September.

Due to immediate formation of clouds after seeding, the rainfall had increased by 26 per cent in these areas, US-based Weather Modification Inc told to the State government.

After evaluating the progress of "Project Varshadhare" an five-member committee has called it the most successful cloud-seeding operations in the country.

What is "cloud seeding"?

Cloud seeding is a technique of dispersing substances into the air to modify weather by altering the micro-physical processes within the cloud. The process changes the the amount and type of precipitation that falls from clouds and serve as cloud condensation or ice nuclei.

Cloud seeding includes the process of spreading either dry ice, or more commonly, silver iodide aerosols, into the upper part of clouds to try to stimulate the precipitation process and form rain.

Under the process different kinds of chemical agents, including sodium chloride, potassium chloride, silver iodide, dry ice and even table salt, are sprayed on existing clouds in an effort to thicken the clouds and increase the chance of rain or snowfall.

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