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Abdulla Al Mandous: UAE Top Destination for Global Experts in Rain Enhancement Research

His Excellency Dr. Abdulla Al Mandous, Director of NCM and President of the Regional Association II (Asia) of WMO reiterated that the UAE has established itself as a top global destination for prominent international events serving various sectors. As part of its continued commitment to addressing the pressing issues directly impacting the lives of communities worldwide, the UAE has been playing an instrumental role in the global efforts to ensure water security, articulating the proactive vision of its wise leadership. Through its pioneering rain enhancement research program, the country has extended crucial support for international scientists and experts to present innovative ideas and projects that contribute to solving global water scarcity.

Al Mandous added: “Recognizing the significance of collaboration and knowledge sharing among the research community, the National Center of Meteorology (NCM), through the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science (UAEREP), has been hosting the International Rain Enhancement Forum (IREF) on a regular basis, providing a unique platform for bringing together top researchers and experts in rain enhancement research from across the globe under one roof.

“The first virtual edition of IREF next year will convene amid the unprecedented challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic to  the lives of people all over the world, adding further stress to water security as the demand for water has steadily increased since the pandemic began. Furthermore, the shortage of freshwater resources threatens nearly half of the world's population.

“Water security is among the key challenges that the UAE may face in the future, as two-thirds of the country’s water demand is met by its depleting groundwater resources. Therefore, the country has taken a keen interest in actively participating in global efforts to find practical solutions for water scarcity as part of its relentless efforts to address this evolving challenge.

“The UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science was launched in 2015 under the supervision of NCM as part of the country’s efforts to strengthen water security locally, regionally and globally by supporting promising research projects in rain enhancement sector, while also leveraging new technologies to advance rain enhancement research to reduce water scarcity.

“The program articulates the UAE's continued pursuit of tacking the urgent challenges facing the world by taking a lead in scientific and technological research, and offering rich potentials across many applications of cloud seeding. Through innovation and effective international collaboration, the UAE demonstrates its continued efforts to advance rain enhancement science in line with the country’s inspiring vision and continued commitment to global sustainability and a better future for all humanity.

“From its first cycle to date, nine innovative research projects have received the programme’s grant, enabling them to make significant contributions to cloud seeding research through promoting new knowledge as well as supporting dynamic scientific and technological innovations. Furthermore, the program strengthened international collaboration and partnerships in developing solutions in rain enhancement, both in the UAE and abroad.

“IREF serves as a global platform to support the efforts to find innovative solutions to global water stress by attracting prominent global experts and specialists in rain enhancement research from both national and international organizations and academic institutions. In addition to tackling the most pressing issues in water sustainability, the Forum aims to explore the latest innovations and developments in rain enhancement research.

“Through the ground-breaking research works of its scientists as well as the successful outcomes of IREF, the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science has significantly contributed to enriching knowledge in rain enhancement science, while providing a solid foundation for future research in this vital sector. We are confident that the upcoming cycles of program will continue to attract the attention and support of the most prominent researchers and innovative projects that advance and lead the development of rain enhancement. This will ensure the continuity of rain enhancement science, while employing the latest technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to break new ground in cloud seeding to enhance our water supplies in the future.