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UAE eyes man-made mountain to maximise rainfall

UAE eyes man-made mountain to maximise rainfall

The country is using groundwater reserves more than 20 times faster than they can be recharged

The UAE is reportedly in the first stages of building a man-made mountain to maximise rainfall.

Local media report that the US-based University Corporation for Atmospheric Research is carrying a detailed modelling study for the project.

“What we are looking at is basically evaluating the effects on weather through the type of mountain, how high it should be and how the slopes should be,” National Center for Atmospheric Research scientist and lead researcher Roelof Bruintjes said.

A report on the first phase is scheduled to be completed in the summer. The NCAR received $400,00 for the project, in collaboration with the National Center of Meteorology & Seismology, in February 2015.

Bruintjes said mountains cause the air to rise, creating clouds that can then be seeded. He said no specific location had been chosen and sites were being tested across the country.

“If [the project] is too expensive for [the government], logically the project won’t go through, but this gives them an idea of what kind of alternatives there are for the long-term future,” he said.

If the project were considered viable from a cost perspective, a second phase would see the country consult with an engineering company.

Last week, it was reported that the UAE carried out four-times more cloud-seeing operations in the first quarter of 2016 than the same period in 2015.

At its current rate, the country is using groundwater reserves more than 20 times faster than they can be recharged, clean energy company Masdar said last year.

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