Udall Proposes Weather R&D Program To Address Drought Concerns
(Washington, DC) - In an effort to help Colorado address its statewide water concerns, Congressman Mark Udall (D-Eldorado Springs) has introduced legislation to promote and fund research and development to improve weather modification technologies.
"Colorado has experienced drought conditions in recent years. Efforts have been made to address drought recovery, preparedness and mitigation, but little fundamental research has been done to better understand weather modification, which some believe can increase the snowpacks that provide water resources for several western states," said Udall. "In Colorado, a large portion of our water comes from the snowpack run off each year. A better understanding of weather modification can enhance our snowpacks and assist us in addressing drought concerns."
H.R. 2995, The Weather Modification Research and Technology Transfer Authorization Act, establishes a federal research and development program to improve our understanding of the atmosphere and develop more effective weather modification technologies and techniques, such as cloud-seeding. The bill would create a Weather Modification Advisory and Research Board in the Department of Commerce to promote weather modification through the funding of research and development projects. The board would be comprised of scientists and meteorologists, engineers, representatives from the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a higher education institution and a state which is currently supporting operational weather modification projects.
The Colorado Water Conservation Board has endorsed similar legislation introduced in the Senate.
A 2003 report by the National Academies of Science called for a national program for a sustained research effort to enhance the effectiveness and predictability of weather modification, and Udall said that Congress should follow through on that recommendation.
"There is currently no federal investment in weather modification, though there are private funds that are largely going toward unproven techniques. Congress should support the expansion of the research and development of weather modification and I look forward to working with my colleagues on passing this bill," said Udall.