India is developing new techniques to create rain artificially amid growing fears over the late arrival of the monsoon season.
A delay in the arrival of this year’s monsoon has left India’s paddy fields parched and caused water-shortages throughout the main cities Photo: AFP/GETTY
Scientists at its Institute of Tropical Meteorology disclosed a new series of “cloud seeding” experiments as fears of a drought grip a country praying for the heavens to open.
A delay in the arrival of this year’s monsoon has left India’s paddy fields parched and caused water-shortages throughout the main cities. A heatwave has claimed at least 24 lives, with the absence of the rain’s cooling effect on 45 degree C temperatures has caused power-cuts, while school summer holidays have been extended by a week in the hope of a downpour.
India’s agriculture, stock markets and the fortunes of its political parties traditionally depend on good monsoon rains. In one state, Andhra Pradesh, which has had only half the expected rainfall this month, farmers fear their crop yields could fall by 30 per cent.
The Indian government has used American cloud seeding technology in the past but is now developing its own techniques to guarantee monsoon clouds break into torrential rains.