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BSWM and PAF. Partners to Counter drought via the Cloud Seeding Operations

By Pett P. Ocampo - Information Officer
January 23, 2019

The Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) Director Angel C. Enriquez, CESO III received a Plaque of Appreciation from the Philippine Air Force (PAF) 900th Air Force Weather Group Commander Lt. Col. Ulysses S. Mancao and Maj. Von Ryan Timbang, in grateful recognition of their cooperation and partnership in implementing the Cloud Seeding Operations (CSO) in areas of the country affected by dryspells and drought. Present during the special meeting are BSWM OIC-Assistant Director Dr. Edna D. Samar; Engr. Teresita S. Sandoval, Chief of the Water Resources and Management Division together with her technical staff in-charge of the CSO, Engr. Erwin B. Renos, OIC, Agro-Hydrology and Rain Stimulation Section; Engr. Phoebe Pua; Engr. Patrick Espanto; and Ms. Mary Joy David.

Under Executive Order No. 116, the BSWM is the mandated as the lead agency of the Department of Agriculture to undertake rain-making project to offset the effects of prolonged drought on the watershed and agricultural areas. The conduct and implementation of the Cloud Seeding Operation is done in close coordination with the Philippine Air Force. For 2018, a total of 18 sorties were conducted in Bohol, where 23,993.68 hectares for irrigated rice area and 27,2384 farmer beneficiaries. For rainfed rice area, a total of 32,919.53 hectares and 34,589 farmer beneficiaries.

Cloud Seeding is a method of inducing rainclouds to produce rainfall. A chemical is dispensed to the rain-bearing clouds to coalesce with the ice crystals at the right temperature and humidity. Condensation takes place in cloud system transforming ice droplets into rain. This is not artificial rain and has no harmful effects to the people or the environment. Cloud Seeding is done to offset the effects of prolonged drought in agricultural and watershed areas. It is also useful in controlling pollution (red tide), forest firefighting and rain suppression. Cloud Seeding should be intensified at the first signs of drought, before the onset of heavy rains and after heavy rainy season.

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