Drought and continued lack of precipitation is threatening Iran’s environment and ecology across the country, which had led the government to establish a 14-billion-toum budget for cloud seeding or artificial rainmaking in 12 provinces.

clouds

The head of the Institute for Water Research told ANA News Agency that the budget is set and a schedule of cloudy days been prepared. Morteza Eftekhari told ANA that on cloudy days, the two airplances designated for this project will try to ionize the clouds with a combination of sodium salts, calcium chloride and especially iodine nitrate.

Eftekhari said 4 million toumans of the budget has been used to purchase equipment and the remaining 10 million toumans is not enough to seed clouds all across the 12 provinces.

He added that in addition tot he need to hire more experts to run the project, there is also a need for three more airplanes, so a budget of 30 million toumans would be more realistic.

Japan resorted to cloud seeding with iodine nitrate during a drought period in 2013 but with limited success, producing just 17 mm of rain over two hours while causing underground water to be polluted with iodine.

So far scientific research into the effectiveness fo rainmaking through cloud seeding remain unconvincing.