DENVER, Colorado: The Southern Nevada Water Authority has voted to accept a $2.4 million grant from the US Bureau of Reclamation to fund cloud seeding to flood the Colorado River.
The program will involve a weather modification method that uses airplanes and ground-based cannons to shoot silver iodide crystals into clouds, which attract moisture to the particles that become snow and rain.
As key reservoirs on the Colorado River have hit record low levels, cities and industries in the Western states have failed to reduce their water consumption.
According to documents for the Southern Nevada Water Authority, the federal funding will help upgrade manual generators to remotely operated models, and using planes to seed clouds in key parts of the Upper Colorado River Basin.
However, Rickert stressed that buying enough generators could be a challenge.
"There are not a lot of makers of cloud seeding generators. Not only do we have to make sure we can find that, but that they could make as many as we need," said Andrew Rickert, who coordinates Colorado's cloud seeding for the Colorado Water Conservation Board, as quoted by the Associated Press.
Colorado, Utah and Wyoming each spend from $1 to $1.5 million per year on cloud seeding.