The rain stimulation project in Baja California has already begun operating this year, and it involves releasing silver iodide molecules into the clouds, but without generating any waste in the environment, according to personnel from the Secretariat of Agriculture and Rural Development (Sader). They detailed that these actions are under the responsibility of the National Commission for Arid Zones (Conaza). The molecules are placed in the path of the clouds to precipitate rain in the areas of interest, which generates humidity and runoff towards the prairies and dams, as explained.
In the state, the rain stimulation project began in the winter of 2022 and, to date, two flights have been carried out with the Mexican Air Force (FAM) King Air 5213 aircraft, on February 15 and 20 of 2023, when favorable cloud conditions were present. The state agency referred that the flights covered the southern area of the polygon over the territory of the municipalities of Ensenada and San Quintín. Specifically, over the localities of El Descanso, La Huertita, and Cataviña in the southern part, and San José, El Morro, El Descanso, and Kilometer 147. In total, 120 liters of the mentioned reactive were released during the two flights.
According to Sader’s data, in the following days, they will do the same in the region of Bajo Río Bravo Tamaulipas, where the state government will contribute a Turbocommander twin-engine aircraft. This will be in Irrigation District 025, in order to counteract the effects of drought in agriculture and livestock in these areas. “In 2021, this 100% national technology was implemented for the first time in Mexico. It allowed an average increase of 45.1% in excess of rainfall, which is positive since the American Meteorological Society recognizes increases in liquid between 10 and 20 percent as successful,” they detailed in the official information.
Regarding the Turbocommander aircraft, they mentioned that it has the desired characteristics to carry out rain stimulation over the established polygon and based on the cloud and humidity characteristics that pass over the defined region. The stimulation area will be the one corresponding to the polygon carried out the previous year, over irrigation districts DR-024 and DR-025. For this, they spoke with the producers to detail the dates and type of stimulation, which is expected to start this week.
Agriculture personnel recalled that last year, the project also benefited polygons within Sonora, Sinaloa, the Lagunera Region, and Chihuahua. “Rain stimulation technology also helped combat at least 25 forest fires, mainly in the states of Nuevo León and Chihuahua, and to extinguish a remaining fire in the Sierra de Arteaga in 2021,” they referred. Finally, they assured that the planning and programming of this type of flight are carried out based on the analysis of meteorological conditions defined by the National Meteorological Service and with additional information obtained through mobile applications and satellite images.
SOURCE: El Vigia