Cloud-seeding update

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From The Durango Telegraph (Allen Best):

A half-century after cloud-seeding began in the West, it continues to be regarded by many as something akin to chicken-noodle soup for colds. Or, on the more sinister side, snake oil. But water authorities in thirsty states of the American Southwest have no such doubts. For several winters, they have been increasing their budgets for seeding clouds passing over the mountains of Colorado, where about half of the total volume in the Colorado River originates. “We’re believers down here,” says Tom Ryan, resource specialist with the Metropolitan Water District of Southwestern California. “The lower-basin folks believe it works. We believe that the science is adequate to move forward.”

While still relatively small, just $152,000 this winter, the money from lower-basin states has more than tripled since 2006. The money has been used to spew silver iodide particles into clouds over the San Juan Mountains, the Gunnison Basin, and Grand Mesa, all regions with ski areas. The states also contributed to renewed seeding operations at Winter Park in partnership with ski-area operator Intrawest. Vail Resorts also continued its seeding operation for Vail and Beaver Creek, a program that began in 1978. It’s Colorado’s longest-continuous seeding operation.

More cloud-seeding coverage here and here.

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