July 10, 2009

Mumbai Considering Cloud Seeding

Authorities in Mumbai are discussing the option of cloud seeding in order to draw more rains to the region that has recently been strained by water shortages.

Mumbai has struggled with lower than average water levels in its six supplying lakes that are responsible for providing the Indian capital with 872 million gallons of water each day.

According to AFP, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) reported of talks with the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) as well as a firm that had experimented with cloud seeding in the early 1990s.

"Over the coming week, we will consult the IMD to work out how to efficiently and effectively carry out the process of cloud seeding," Anil Diggikar a senior BMC official told The Hindustan Times newspaper.

Cloud seeding is a process that adds substances like silver iodide and dry ice into the air in order to change the microphysical processes within the clouds in hopes of prompting more rains.

Diggikar told The Hindustan that officials ruled out the option of using desalinization to add more rain due to the overall cost and time needed in order to build plants for the process.

Mumbai relies on the monsoon season to stock its supplying lakes. However, the torrential rains were expected in the region on June 8, but didn't come until near the end of the month.

AFP reported that IMD said the Colaba region of south Mumbai received 2.5 inches of rain over 24 hours to 8:30 am on Friday. Meteorologists predict the region will see heavy rains over the weekend.