UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science completes latest US roadshow

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Visits to leading institutions strengthen links and connect with new stakeholders in the search for advanced cloud seeding solutions

The Program is continuing its local roadshow among leading local universities and research centers in the UAE 

Abu Dhabi-UAE: A UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science (UAEREP) roadshow has concluded a series of successful and highly productive meetings exploring new scientific breakthroughs with institutions and stakeholders across the United States. The delegation also reached out to existing and potential collaborators to encourage applications for its upcoming 5th Cycle beginning in 2023. The US visits complemented the Program’s ongoing roadshow in the UAE aimed at strengthening local partnerships.

Taking in the University of California San Diego, the UAE Consulates in Los Angeles and New York, the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority in Riverside, California, and Colombia University in New York, and the Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey, the delegation’s US itinerary enabled them to share insights and experiences on current UAE and local rain enhancement projects and explore new research and outreach opportunities.

Dr Abdulla Al Mandous, Director of National Center for Meteorology (NCM), which runs UAEREP, said: “our successful roadshows in the US and UAE demonstrates the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science’s international prominence as a focal point for new scientific and technological breakthroughs. Through its support for promising scientific projects and or commitment to help advance global rain enhancement, we are continually seeking to build up international and local research capacities while deepening our ties with leaders and institutions across the globe that share our vision of a world free from water scarcity.”

Commenting on the visits, Alya Mazroui, Director of the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science, said: “Our meetings gave us an excellent opportunity to consolidate our already strong links with the scientific community in the United States and the UAE. I am sure that we will continue to open new avenues for collaboration with our partners to help advance rain enhancement research and develop new solutions to strengthen global water security. I am very grateful for the hospitality extended by all our hosts, and I look forward to the valuable results that should be yielded by the exciting research projects both planned and already underway.”

The US roadshow kicked off with a meeting with Dr. Luca Delle Monache and other stakeholders at the Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes (CW3E) at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, University of California San Diego. As the Program’s latest awardee, Dr. Delle Monache is exploring the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to improve precipitation estimates and enable enhanced forecasting and cloud targeting.

Following its visit to San Diego, the UAEREP team met His Excellency Sheikh Mohamed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Acting Consul General at the UAE Consulate in Los Angeles, and locally-based UAE students to discuss broadening the program’s network of stakeholders and raising awareness of its achievements in the US. The delegation went on to visit Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority to be briefed on rain enhancement programs in the Western US, explore cooperation with the North American Weather Modification Council (NAWMC), and examine the potential for deeper partnerships with leading research and weather modification organizations.

The delegation then travelled to New York, where it met with His Excellency Anwar. E. Alazizi, Deputy Consul General in the UAE consulate in New York, and a group of UAE students enrolled in local universities to exchange ideas on further collaborative opportunities and initiatives that could raise awareness about the latest rain enhancement technologies and research. The delegation then visited Columbia University for a discussion with leading faculty experts on risk prediction for extreme weather phenomena and the latest advances in cloud seeding techniques.

The final meeting was with the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Ocean Engineering at the Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey, where the participants discussed the Institute’s work in water research and operations and the value of ground observation of soil moisture as a supplement to satellite data in assessing rainfall volumes. The UAEREP team was also briefed about technical advances in tools and sensors that could be used to analyze cloudseeding and the use of ground-based radar for high resolutions (50m) precipitation mapping and nowcasting.

Before departing to the US, a UAEREP delegation met with Dr. Ray O. Johnson, the CEO of the Technology Innovation Institute (TII) in Abu Dhabi, as part of its local roadshow to discuss possible collaborative opportunities and the priorities of the Program’s 5th cycle starting in 2023.

Launched by the Ministry of Presidential Affairs of the UAE and managed by the National Center of Meteorology (NCM), the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science’s active international engagement has already assured its leading position in the global quest to address water security challenges through innovative scientific and technical research.