UAE Rain Enhancement Programme a catalyst for scientific research

ABU DHABI, 15th January, 2019 (WAM) — The UAE’s Research Programme for Rain Enhancement Science, UAEREP, has strengthened its position as a catalyst for advances international scientific research on rain enhancement.

Dr. Abdulla Al Mandous, Director of the National Centre of Meteorology, said, “Over the years, our Programme has grown to the extent that it is now truly global in size, scale, and substance. We are proud of the results of the three research projects that will contribute significantly to supporting the scientific development in the field of rain enhancement, in addition to improving the effectiveness of the rain enhancement as an additional sustainable water source. These efforts strengthen the UAE’s position as a world-class centre for generating knowledge and achieving excellence in rain enhancement science and techniques.”

At a press conference, researchers from the UAE, Germany and Japan – UAEREP’s first cycle grant awardees – showcased their innovative research projects during the third edition of the International Rain Enhancement Forum, IREF. The forum is currently taking place on the sidelines of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2019.


Dr. Linda Zou, Professor Volker Wulfmeyer, Professor Masataka Murakami presented the final results of their innovative research projects that have already done much to advance the capabilities of rain enhancement science and new technologies in the UAE and beyond.

Dr. Zou, a Professor at the Khalifa University of Science and Technology, has been able to produce, test and evaluate new cloud seeding materials based on nanotechnology that can increase the number of rain droplets by up to three times their original size, at 100 percent relative humidity, compared to conventional cloud seeding materials. Two patents have been filed for the nanotechnology seeding material, and an examination of potential methods for mass producing the material is currently ongoing.

While Professor Murakami Designated Professor from the Institute for Space-Earth Environmental Research at Nagoya University and a visiting scientist at the Japan Meteorological Research Institute, has developed new statistical evaluation methods to study the long-term effects of seeding and investigate methods to improve seeding effects, as well as a new database for the National Centre for Meteorology on clouds and aerosols specifications in the UAE.

This database can be used to validate readings, provide baseline data to aid research supported by the program grant that will also facilitate future research projects. Professor Murakami has also developed a numerical modeling system to simulate meteorological observations and identify rainfall clouds in order to improve the accuracy of weather forecasts and increase the efficiency of the UAE’s mapping operations by increasing the accuracy of cloud targeting, thereby reducing the number of flight hours and the associated cost.

Germany’s Professor Volker Wulfmeyer, Managing Director and Chair of Physics and Meteorology at the Institute of Physics and Meteorology of the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart, has developed a high-resolution 3D numerical weather prediction model used for the identification of optimal locations of land cover and terrain modifications to increase rainfall. In addition to determining plantation specifications and net water gain, another outcome of the project is expected to be carbon mitigation, helping the UAE achieve the climate objectives and CO2 reduction requirements of the Paris Agreement Commenting on the research projects’ results, Alya Al Mazroui, UAEREP Director, said, “The excellent results achieved by our first cycle of awardees reflects the efforts of our programme to lead innovation in the rain enhancement field and to support the sustainability of water resources globally based on the latest scientific and technological methods. Through their work, we are confident that the recipients of our programme grant will contribute to the development of new scientific foundations that will help areas suffering from water scarcity.”

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