QuickCheck: Will cloud-seeding be carried out in Penang to boost water reserves?

EVEN though we are at the start of the wet season, the authorities in Penang have decided to start seeding clouds around the state's mainland areas to boost water reserves.

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Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) chief executive officer Datuk Ir Jaseni Maidinsa said that although the wet season was approaching, the state still needed to start cloud seeding as part of the state's contingency plan.

Previously in June, it was reported that the Ayer Itam Dam was fast drying up as it was at 28.4% capacity, down from 39% in April.

In June, the state government appointed a company to carry out the seeding at a cost of RM492,000 to try to increase dam water levels.

The company is to carry out cloud seeding 12 times between June 10 and Dec 15.

Cloud seeding is a weather modification technique to try and improve a cloud's ability to produce rain by introducing tiny ice nuclei into certain types of sub-freezing clouds.

However, its efficacy is still up for academic debate with different results being found depending on the study in question and contrasting opinions among experts.

A study in the early 2000s by the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) failed to find any statistically significant support for the practice's effectiveness. However, a second study by NAS in 2020 had them change their tune with them saying that its efficacy was dependent on the type of cloud seeding used as well as "the temporal and spatial evolution of a variety of atmospheric variables that control microphysical and dynamical processes in clouds and precipitation effect."

The US National Research Council (NRC) on the other hand, released a report in 2003 which said, "...science is unable to say with assurance which, if any, seeding techniques produce positive effects. In the 55 years following the first cloud-seeding demonstrations, substantial progress has been made in understanding the natural processes that account for our daily weather. Yet scientifically acceptable proof for significant seeding effects has not been achieved"


1. https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2022/08/16/penang-to-start-cloud-seeding-in-bid-to-boost-dam-reserves

2. https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2022/06/10/cloud-seeding-in-penang-as-dam-level-sinks

3. https://www.thestar.com.my/metro/metro-news/2022/04/28/ayer-itam-dam-alert-prompts-cloud-seeding-ops

4. https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.1917204117

5. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/cloud-seeding-china-snow/



StarVerified, QuickCheck, True or Not, Cloud Seeding, Penang, Natural Sciences

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