National Center of Meteorology Hosts Virtual Panel Discussion as Part of WETEX 2020

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Agenda includes fourth cycle of UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science, targeted research areas, history of rain enhancement in UAE and abroad

Abu Dhabi-UAE: Today, the National Center of Meteorology (NCM), through the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science held a virtual panel discussion titled ‘Innovation in the field of Rain Enhancement’ on the sidelines of the Water, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition (WETEX) 2020, organized by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) between October 26 and 28.

The session reviewed UAEREP’s achievements and future plans, including its fourth cycle and the call for innovative research proposals. It also took stock of the progress made so far in the use of nanotechnology to develop cloud seeding materials for enhanced rain droplet formation. The participants were presented with an overview of the history of rain enhancement in the world with a focus on the UAE, and the fundamental contribution of the program to research, development and innovation in the field.

His Excellency Dr Abdulla Al Mandous, Executive Director of NCM and President of the Regional Association II (Asia) of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), said: “We are pleased to participate in this year’s virtual edition of WETEX that has played a significant role in reinforcing the UAE’s status as a global hub for leading experts and decision makers to discuss pressing topics related to water, energy and environment.

“At the event, we aim to highlight the success of UAEREP in advancing rain enhancement research and development to ensure water security across the globe. The UAE is committed to identifying innovative solutions to water scarcity issues worldwide.

“The country has been recognized globally as a forerunner in rain enhancement science owing to its achievements in implementing cloud seeding operations. Since its inception in 2015, the program has been taking a keen interest in participating in various local, regional and global conferences and specialized events to step up collaboration with leading researchers and scientists, and improve the efficiency of cloud seeding operations in addressing water security and sustainability challenges.”

For her part, Alya Al Mazroui, Director of UAEREP and a panelist in the session, said: “WETEX is an ideal platform for promoting rain enhancement science, and introducing UAEREP and its pioneering global research efforts in the field to a broader audience. Tackling water scarcity has become a pressing priority that mandates collective action to come up with effective and efficient solutions that leverage innovative methods, such as rain enhancement, to supplement existing water sources.”

She added: “The panel discussion offered a prime opportunity to discuss the updated research areas of UAEREP’s fourth cycle. Carefully selected by international experts and scientists, they focus on the use of state-of-the-art technologies and emerging innovations to advance rain enhancement science. The program calls on researchers across the globe to present their innovative proposals in the target areas that will open the door to a wealth of untapped knowledge in rain enhancement science. Building on the rich experience we gained through the nine research projects that received grants over the first three cycles of the program, we seek to steer future research efforts to more impactful areas to tackle water security issues and enhance the program’s contribution to the cause.”

The panel discussion drew the participation of experts in the field from the UAE and abroad. Omar Al Yazidi, Director of Research, Development and Training at NCM, Dr Deon Terblanche, Expert Consultant on Weather and Climate Science at the World Bank and former Director of Research at WMO, and Dr Roelof Bruintjes, Co-Pi on Dr Paul Lawson’s team at SPEC Incorporated that was awarded the grant in UAEREP’s second cycle, joined Al Mazroui on the panel. Dr Latifa Yousef, Program Officer at UAEREP, moderated the session.

WETEX has established itself as one of the largest and most prominent exhibitions in the water, energy and environment sectors. The 22nd edition of the event is taking place virtually, offering participating companies an unparalleled opportunity to display their products through 3D platforms customized to their needs, in addition to leveraging cutting-edge smart technologies to facilitate meetings, webinars and workshops.