Drought has cost the United States about 151 billion dollars* in the last 26 years. It is a quiet destroyer of crops and a blazing destroyer of forest. We have surrendered to the idea that nothing can be done to eliminate drought. It is time to change that idea. With the technology we have now, it is conceivable to modify the weather to minimize the impact of droughts.
If we could budget one billion dollars for research and equipment per year, it is possible that we could create rainmaking equipment. To make rain clouds from scratch. We have extensive data already about clouds and storms. All we need is an endless source of water for the clouds.
A possible solution is to start with an ocean going ship off the coast of America. Pump water into the ship from the ocean and remove the salt. Add minerals to the water for raindrop control. We do not want the clouds to rain too soon. The clouds might have to move hundreds of miles inland before it rains. Spray the water out of nozzles high above the ship into a chimney. Have jet engines or fans move the air in the chimney at speeds up to three hundred mph. This upward movement of water vapor at high speed could create a large cloud in a short time. A cloud is just made up of water vapor and raindrops. Have a small fleet of rain making ships off the coast when the wind is blowing in the right direction. Have ships off the California coast, Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic coast to make large rainstorms for different areas of the country. Remember, cites get their water supply from rain and snow runoff. Making it rain would replenish well water, lakes and rivers also. With record heat, another plus is that rain can cool an area in summer.
The downside is we still have to watch the weather for other storms. Flooding, mudslides and the effect on wildlife, becomes a real problem when we add more rain clouds to the normal weather system. Laws will be needed to protect this rain making process from lawsuits coming from lighting, tornadoes and flooding damage. The United Nations will have to agree to monitor the rain making process. Clouds can travel to other countries and cause problems, making international laws a necessity.
Global warming is increasing the chance of more droughts around the world. The cost is only going to go up. Why are we waiting? In 2006 alone the United States lost 6.0 billion dollars* in drought related cost. Can we afford not to eliminate droughts?
*Source is NCDC (National climatic Data Center)