The United Arab Emirates is building a mountain in an attempt to cause rainfall in one of the driest parts of the earth, reports suggest.
Mountains have been cited as a factor that determines rainfall and rainfall patterns. It is seen as being able to cause clouds which latter result in rains. Theoretically, a mountain can be used to trap rainfall in certain regions of the planet. But how much is it costing the UAE to build a mountain to bring the rains. This is quite innovative and visionary. It is a move seen by many as proactive but of course quite expensive
According to Dubai-based publication Arabian Business, experts from the US-based University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), which manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), are currently in the “detailed modelling study” phase of the project.
The building of the mountain has been necessitated by water security. Water security has long been a pressing concern in the Gulf region where rising populations and growing economies continue to put strain on limited natural resources, IBT reported. It continued to mention that the average UAE resident uses an estimated 550 litres of water daily compared to the international average of 170 to 300 litres a day, according to the Federal Water and Electricity Authority.
According to a report by the Al Jazeera Centre for Studies, water demand in the region has risen by a whopping 140% where resources are “already diminishing due to droughts, low rainfall and the prevalent climate.”
In 2015, about $558,000 was spent on 186 cloud seeding missions across the UAE in an attempt to create more rainfall which did seem to create higher levels of rainfall than predicted, IBT added. However, the process could prove to be unsuitable and unsustainable for frequent use in the long run.
In March, a record rainfall that was partially attributed to cloud seeding created chaos in the country, with over 11 inches falling in less than 24 hours. Other possible solutions include desalination plants to create fresh water from seawater, icebergs floated down from the Arctic and an underground pipeline from Pakistan.
One thing is certain, building a mountain is not a simple thing. Let’s see in the coming months and years how this pans out, perhaps other countries could learn a thing or two from the UAE project.