The SBCTA Board of Directors received a report from the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority (SAWPA) about a pilot program to address drought conditions in Southern California.
In 2020, SAWPA conducted a feasibility study to explore weather modification (cloud seeding) for the Santa Ana River Watershed. Cloud seeding has been implemented successfully in other watersheds throughout California and the western United States. It is also a technology that has been recognized as a legitimate water resource strategy in the California Department of Water Resources’ Water Plan, and is described as precipitation enhancement. The SAWPA feasibility study projected a water supply increase to the watershed of 8-11%, at a cost less than a tenth of the cost of untreated imported water.
A four-year pilot program with a validation phase was proposed to further evaluate the program and is being considered to begin in the winter of Fiscal Year 2022/2023. Additional outreach material is posted on the SAWPA website at the following link: https://sawpa.org/latest-info/watershed-cloud-seeding-feasibility-study/.