Calif. Water Resources to seed clouds to build winter water reserves

Officials say it is the cheapest option

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - With California experiencing a second straight dry year, water agencies are turning to cloud seeding to help pad the state's snowpack.

The practice has been around for decades, but cloud seeding has gone mainstream as a result of new technology and research showing its reliable, the Sacramento Bee reported Monday.

In a report this year, the California Department of Water Resources estimated cloud seeding projects generate 400,000 acre-feet of additional water supply annually in the state. That's about half the volume of Folsom Reservoir. An acre-foot is enough water to supply a typical household for a year.

Proponents say cloud seeding is cheaper than desalination, new dams and even conservation projects. Additionally, they say concerns about its environmental effects are unfounded.

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