Metal fire hydrant on city street against blue sky. Representational.
Metal fire hydrant on city street against blue sky. Representational Image. Brett Sayles/

Abdulla Al Mandous, Director-General of the National Center of Meteorology (NCM) and President of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), highlighted the importance of reliable water resources for the security of nations, communities, and agriculture.

In a statement marking World Water Day, which falls on March 22, Al Mandous acknowledged that the global water crisis is intensifying, adding that there is a need to enhance water security with the help of new research and technology and building effective international partnerships.

"Many countries are recognizing the importance of efficiently managing water resources to enable irrigation projects, secure clean drinking water, develop local water sources, improve natural disaster management, and develop hydropower projects," he said, as reported by WAM.

"The international community is also looking for alternative and innovative solutions for efficient and sustainable water use that balances human needs with environmental conservation," Al Mandous added.

He further said that while there are methods such as desalination and greywater recycling to deal with the water crisis, the environmental challenges drove the need to find better solutions to boost rainfall and replenish groundwater.

Al Mandous stressed that innovative solutions, including rain enhancement technology, provide hope for a sustainable future and tackle escalating risks of climate change and water security. Rain enhancement technology is also known as cloud seeding.

"The National Centre for Meteorology continues to lead in this field through the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science, conducting advanced rain enhancement research that contributes to sustainable water security for peoples around the world," he said.

He explained that the rain enhancement technology provides a sustainable solution to water security by amplifying rainfall in areas with limited water.

The process involves stimulating natural processes of water vapor condensation and cloud formation, offering a safe, eco-friendly, flexible, and affordable solution for tackling water scarcity challenges. The United Arab Emirates began its rain enhancement operations in the 1990s, making significant progress in this field over the following decades.

As of 2024, the Middle Eastern country has a modern network of over 60 meteorological stations, a comprehensive radar system, and five specialized aircraft for cloud-seeding operations.

Also, with the launch of the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science under the supervision of the National Centre for Meteorology in 2015, the UAE took a significant step toward achieving its strategic objectives in water security.