Chilean govt approves cloud seeding to ease drought

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Chilean govt approves cloud seeding to ease drought

With a state of agricultural emergency declared across 77 districts in Chile, the government has approved a cloud seeding initiative that is hoped will help growers affected by drought.

Agricultural Minister Luis Mayol has approved the project which was proposed by the Chilean Interregional Water Emergency Council, following an assessment report which included analysis of technical issues, national and international experiences, economic evaluation and administrative processes.

Cloud seeding can increase rainfall by 15-30% depending on the weather conditions.

Mayol said all possible actions were being taken over the short term to assist growers affected by drought in the high impact parts of the Atacama, Coquimbo and Valparaiso regions.

National Irrigation Commission (CNR) executive secretary Felipe Martin said the project would evaluate both ground emission and aerial bombardment options for applying the technology.

"If we get 10% additional precipitation we would be recovering double what we invested," he said.

Related story: Chile's water woes to continue in 2012

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