Karnataka Government has launched clouding seeding Project Varshadhari in Bengaluru under which an aircraft will spray chemicals to induce rainfall. The cloud seeding project is an experimental project that will cover Bengaluru, Gadag and Yadgir districts of the state.
The experimental project aims to condense small water particles by clouds (size less than 10 microns) to droplets of 50 microns, which can constitute rains. The flight for cloud seeding – BQ-100 Beechcraft will spray Silver Iodide, Sodium Chloride and Potassium Chloride to condense the water particles. A committee, comprising meteorologists, experts in cloud physics and hydrologists, will monitor the process.
Cloud seeding (also known as weather modification technique) is an artificial way to induce moisture in the clouds so as to cause a rainfall. In this process, either silver iodide, potassium iodide or dry ice (solid carbon dioxide) are spread onto the clouds causing rainfall. These iodide particles rise into the clouds, cause moisture to freeze. These particles act as a base for water vapours to settle on that later crystallises and falls as rain or snow.
This method can be used to bring significant amount of rainfall over a specified area especially in location where rain is badly needed. Several experiments conducted earlier across India were not very effective and gave mixed results. It is not fool proof as seeded clouds may actually travel to another location and do not cause precipitation on the intended location. Moreover there are environmental consequences of spreading of harmful chemicals in atmosphere. It is also very expensive technique. If it is not controlled properly, it may result in undesirable weather conditions like flooding, hail, storms, etc.