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UAE plans to build artificial mountain to encourage rainfall

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DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates has been famous for undertaking massive ambitious projects to transform its arid landscape, but you would be surprised to know its latest plan for a potential venture – artificial mountain.

Scientists are currently in the early stages of researching a man-made mountain to help maximise rainfall in the water-starved country.

According to Dubai-based publication Arabian Business, experts from the US-based University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), which manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), are currently in the “detailed modelling study” phase of the project.

Theoretically, a mountain can be used to trap rainfall in a certain region. The artificial mountain could help force moist air to rise up where it will eventually turn to clouds and fall back down in the form of rain.

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“What we are looking at is basically evaluating the effects on weather through the type of mountain, how high it should be and how the slopes should be,” Bruintjes told Arabian Business. “We will have a report of the first phase this summer as an initial step.” The meteorological process called cloud seeding increases the amount or type of rainfall that these clouds can release, says Bruintjes.

Water security has long been a pressing concern in the Gulf region where rising populations and growing economies continue to put strain on limited natural resources.

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The average UAE resident uses an estimated 550 litres of water daily compared to the international average of 170 to 300 litres a day, according to the Federal Water and Electricity Authority.

Last year, around $558,000 was spent on 186 cloud seeding missions across the UAE in an attempt to create more rainfall which did seem to create higher levels of rainfall than predicted. However, the process could prove to be unsuitable for frequent use in the long run, reported the IBTimes.

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