Weather Modification, Drought, and Public Policy: A Case History

Authors

  • W Henry Lambright The Maxwell School Syracuse University and Science and Technology Policy Center Syracuse Research Corporation Syracuse, New York
  • Susan E Sheehan Science and Technology Policy Center Syracuse Research Corporation Syracuse, New York

Abstract

Drought is a recurrent problem and water scarcity a worsening dilemma in some of the fastest growing parts of the United States. As weather modification tends to be used in conjunction with drought, there is need for policy which embraces weather modification and drought. But what is such policy to be? Who is to say? And how is it to be formulated? To help answer these and related questions, a case history of recent attempts by Colorado to deal with the interplay of weather modification and drought has been prepared. This study highlights not only a problem in weather modification and drought, but issues at the intersection of atmospheric science and public policy generally. A drought is not the most propitious time to apply weather modification techniques, or make long-term policy. But, the time immediately following a drought may be an optimal time to get policy improvements for weather modification and drought on the governmental agenda, thereby turning a period of recovery into one of long-term policy preparedness.

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Scientific Papers