The United Arab Emirates (UAE),specifically Dubai, is known for it’s extravagance, its luxury, and it’s almost borderline futuristic application of a variety of technological innovations that most of the world have yet to accept. The police force uses Lamborghinis, the fire department uses water jet packs, and the people drive amphibious cars; As you can see, Dubai is basically the World of Tomorrow.
So, is it of any surprise to anyone that Dubai has announced they are also capable of controlling their own weather?
Through the use of specialized drones utilizing technology developed by engineers at the University of Reading in the UK, Dubai is capable of controlling the amount of rainfall they experience in the region. By sending electrical shockwaves into the sky, the drones cause the clouds to clump together, thereby condensing them into rain.
“When the drops merge and are big enough, they will fall as rain,” Professor Maarten Ambaum, a member of the special project, explained to BBC.
Known as cloud-seeding, the operation, started in 2017, is one of nine involved in a 15 million-dollar venture with the main goal of producing more rain for the country.
Though this technology may seem exclusive and futuristic, the method was in fact used in a more rudimentary form during the 1980’s after the Chernobyl incident in the former USSR. When the incident occurred, cloud-seeding technology was utilized to prevent the radioactive fallout from reaching Moscow.
It has also been used to assist with events like the 2008 Beijing Olympics, as well as regularly by ski resorts in the US to cause greater snowfall.
As incredible as these drones may seem, they are not Dubai’s only defense against aridity. Through the use of 130 dams and levees totalling a massive 120 million cubic meters, the country does it’s best to prevent as much water loss as possible. “We do not want to waste a drop of water,” explained NCMS executive director Abdulla al-Mandoos.
With temperatures reaching as high as 50 degrees Celsius, 15 million dollars seems like a worthwhile investment in water management!