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‘Jordan eyes adoption of Thai rainmaking technology in 2015’

By Mohammad Ghazal - Nov 10,2014 - Last updated at Nov 10,2014

AMMAN — Jordan will use Thai technology to make artificial rain in 2015 to increase precipitation in the Kingdom, which is the world’s second water-poorest country, according to Mohammad Samawi, director general of the Jordan Meteorological Department.

As part of a memorandum to be signed before the end of this year, Jordan and Thailand will cooperate to make artificial rain, which Samawi said will increase the rainfall average by 15-17 per cent.

“This project is currently under study and we are optimistic that it will help us in increasing rainfall. Jordan will use Thai technology and Thailand will train Jordanian staff on the making of artificial rain,” he added.

“The project is feasible for Jordan and I expect that we will see results and artificial rain next year.”

Samawi noted that Jordan tried making artificial rain on its own between 1989 and 1995, but the experiment failed as the airplane and equipment used for this purpose stopped functioning and the project faced several challenges.

The Thai technology was developed in 1969 by King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand who holds an international patent on the rainmaking method, which involves introducing certain chemicals in cloudy areas to “seed” the clouds with increased moisture that would eventually result in precipitation.

In 2009, Jordan received permission from Thailand to use the technique. 

According to official figures, 91 per cent of the Kingdom’s total area of 97,000 square kilometres is arid land with an annual average rainfall of 50-200 millimetres (mm), while 2.9 per cent is categorised as semi-arid with an annual average rainfall of 400-580mm.

Water per capita in the Kingdom is 88 per cent below the international water poverty line of 1,000 cubic metres annually, according to the Ministry of Water and Irrigation.

The available water resources in Jordan offer 800-900 million cubic metres of water annually, according to the ministry, which says that this annual amount caters to the needs of only three million people, while the number of water users in Jordan now exceeds 10 million people.

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