Gopal Rai, the Environment Minister of Delhi, declared that the city would make an effort to trigger artificial rain as a measure to combat the increasing pollution levels on Wednesday. Rai held a meeting with experts from IIT Kanpur to discuss the prospects of cloud seeding for inducing rain. The Delhi government is set to receive a comprehensive proposal from IIT Kanpur, which will be subsequently presented to the Supreme Court for review. Initial projections suggest that there is a likelihood of cloud cover on November 20-21, and pending approval, the implementation of the plan could be scheduled for those dates.
Artificial rain can help tackle pollution in several ways:
1. Clearing the atmosphere: Rainfall induced through cloud seeding can help remove particulate matter and pollutants from the air. Raindrops capture airborne particles and wash them out of the atmosphere, leading to cleaner air.
2. Reduction of airborne pollutants: Artificial rain can assist in reducing the concentration of pollutants, including dust, smoke, and chemicals, by washing them out of the atmosphere and depositing them on the ground.
3. Mitigating smog and haze: Cloud seeding can help disperse smog and haze, making the air clearer and more breathable, which can have a positive impact on air quality in urban areas.
4. Controlling forest fires: In regions prone to wildfires, cloud seeding can be used to induce rainfall and help extinguish fires, preventing the release of smoke and pollutants into the atmosphere.
5. Agricultural benefits: Artificial rain can also benefit agriculture by providing much-needed moisture for crops. This can help reduce the use of irrigation water, which can be a source of pollution due to the chemicals used in farming.
The effectiveness of cloud seeding in reducing pollution can vary depending on local weather conditions, the type of pollutants, and the specific goals of the operation.
Artificial rain projects have been successful in various instances in the past. China has been actively involved in cloud seeding projects to increase rainfall and combat drought conditions. One notable success was during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where cloud seeding was used to prevent rain during the opening ceremony, ensuring a rain-free event.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has invested in cloud seeding for many years to increase rainfall in their arid region. They have reported increased precipitation and improved water resources in some areas as a result of these efforts.