UAE announces $1.5 million grant for rain enhancement studies

The fourth cycle of the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science (UAEREP) is offering up to $1.5 million in grants for research in the rain enhancement field as part of its broader drive to move towards a green society.
Thursday 28/01/2021
A UAE official from the national center for meteorology and seismology check salt flares attached to a twin-propeller Beechcraft plane and which are fired into  clouds. (AP)
A UAE official from the national center for meteorology and seismology check salt flares attached to a twin-propeller Beechcraft plane and which are fired into clouds. (AP)

ABU DHABI - The UAE is encouraging researchers to focus on innovative rain enhancement methods as part of its efforts to address a growing water scarcity problem in the region.

The fourth cycle of the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science (UAEREP) is offering up to $1.5 million in grants for research in the rain enhancement field as part of its broader drive to move towards a green society.

UAEREP Director Alya Al Mazroui said the programme has already generated significant enthusiasm and has high hopes it will help facilitate transformative technology in the field.

 “In continuation of the program’s tireless efforts to support the advancement of rain enhancement research, we have launched its fourth cycle and started receiving innovative project proposals from leading scientists and research institutions from across the globe,” said Mazrauoi. “We look forward to selecting groundbreaking ideas and solutions that serve the targeted research areas with the help of top international experts and scientists.”

The programme’s target research areas include  “weather modeling and forecasting using artificial intelligence and ensemble modelling, evaluation of rain enhancement efficacy through the utilization of cloud chamber and randomized inputs in statistical methods, innovations in rain enhancement systems through the integration of new measurement and numerical tools, and leveraging innovative rain enhancement models, among others,” Business Wire reported.

UAEREP Director Alya Al Mazroui (https://www.uaerep.ae/).
UAEREP Director Alya Al Mazroui (https://www.uaerep.ae/).

UAEREP,  which provided grants to 9 cutting edge proposals in its first three iterations, will be open to academic institutions, research centres and other relevant organisations, awarding up to $550,000 to three winning proposals.

Abdulla Al Mandous, director of the National Center of Meteorology (NCM) and president of the Regional Association II (Asia), said the global coronavirus crisis has made the need to find a solution to water scarcity even more pressing.

“IREF is convened this year amid the unprecedented disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially to water security, as the demand for water has witnessed a steady increase since the pandemic started,” said Mandous. “As nearly half of the world’s population is facing an acute shortage of freshwater, the UAE aims to assist international efforts to reduce water scarcity through its continued support for promising research projects in rain enhancement.”

The UAE has recently increased efforts to develop environmentally friendly technology and policies. Its green economy initiative is actively working towards green policies and investment in energy, agriculture, sustainable transport and construction.