Artificial rain to combat agricultural drought

Moldova will create a drone that will provoke the appearance of precipitation in clouds that do not contain precipitation, Vasile Sarban, state secretary of the Agriculture Ministry, told Radio Moldova.

According to him, the drone will be equipped with chemicals which, reacting with the catalyst clouds, will trigger rain. Vasile Șarban said that the experiment, which is being conducted in co-operation with Romanian experts, is at the initial stage.

Specifically, the new technology involves equipping the drone with active substances, such as salt or a mixture of different salts, which enter the clouds and cause precipitation, while the crystals contribute to the formation of condensation that causes rain. The project is being carried out in co-operation with the Romanian Ministry of Agriculture.

“We want to extend it to Moldova, so a drone is being developed for Moldovan production. The cartridges for the active reagent that will be installed in the drone have already been imported. We are already waiting for the drone’s tests to be finalised, so that the engine would withstand the minimum mileage, after which we will start the non-mechanical tests,” Vasile Sarban said.

According to Vasile Sarban, Romania has already managed to implement this technology to provoke precipitation in the last two years, but with the help of aviation. He also says the neighbouring country’s experience will help us become more resistant to drought.

On the other hand, environmentalist Anatolie Prochnicki warns that the use of chemicals to create artificial rain can have harmful consequences for the environment, especially for humans. In his opinion, this technology should only be used in exceptional cases, such as extreme drought.

“I saw such devices at one of the meetings. And I can say that they are not beneficial, because in order for there to be rain, more forests have to be planted, which has not been done very often in recent years. There will be consequences for sure, because it’s chemical, it’s artificial, it’s not natural, and it affects the air, the soil, the plant products. This technology is practised, but in exceptional cases. Nature regulates itself, when it interferes, it has consequences,” says Anatoly Prokhnitsky.

This technology is used in dozens of countries, including the USA, China and India. Pakistan used artificial rain for the first time to drive smog out of Lahore, which is considered one of the world’s most polluted cities, Digi24.ro reported. The United Arab Emirates is increasingly using cloud seeding to create artificial rain in arid, drought-stricken regions of the country. The phenomenon was first tested in Romania by physicist Stefania Mărechineanu in 1931.

Author: Dumitru Petruliak


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