New Assessment of the Economic Impacts from Ten Winter Snowpack Augmentation Projects

Authors

  • Thomas J Henderson Atmospherics Incorporated Fresno, California

Abstract

California has the longest history of operational cloud seeding programs of any area in the world. The technology was first applied by the California Electric Power Company beginning on February 2, 1948. As the years evolved, additional programs funded by water agencies, municipalities and hydroelectric interests were organized over many California locales. During the 1995/96 winter season, thirteen operational programs were active. A broad range of statistical evaluations have been applied to many of these programs. In addition to statistical methods applied to precipitation and streamflow data, these evaluations have more recently focused on substantial radar data collected by operational 3 cm and 5 cm weather radar systems. The combined benefits are explored using ten programs in California which have been active for varied periods since 1950. The results from this study strongly suggest that beneficial increases in water supplies have been produced by these long-term cloud seeding programs.

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Scientific Papers