Tokyo officials are attempting to artificially summon rains as a record-breaking heat wave threatens the city’s water supply.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government reportedly turned to decades-old equipment to artificially produce much needed rain.
Ground-based rainmaking devices, one in the mountains near Ogochi dam in Okutama, western Tokyo, and another in Koshu, Yamanashi Prefecture, were used to send a vapor of silver iodide mixed with acetone into the air.
According to the metropolitan government, about 10-11 millimeters of rain per hour were recorded near the dam.
“We’d like to believe it worked,” an official at Tokyo’s bureau of waterworks said, with some caution.
Water levels in the city’s reservoirs have been falling short as temperatures hit record highs.
Water storage at eight dams of the Tone River system, which supplies 70% of Tokyo’s water, was at around 60% compared with the average year.
Due to the shortage, the metropolitan government on July 24 cut water intake by 10%.
Experts, however, questioned the effectiveness of the method.
Tadahiro Hayasaka, a professor of climate physics at Tohoku University, said “cloud seeding” experiments are usually conducted by aircraft dispersing silver iodide onto clouds at high altitudes rather than from the ground.
by Maesie Bertumen