Cloud Seeding Project for Tahoe and Truckee Basins for WY2013

Affiliation(s) PI Project period Funded by
DAS Green, Mark C 10/01/2012 - 09/30/2013 Truckee Meadows Water Authority

Project Description

The goal of this project is to enhance snowfall from winter storms and to increase the snowpack of the Tahoe and Truckee Basins through the application of wintertime cloud seeding technology. Cloud seeding will be conducted from 5-ground based generators for the winter 2012-2013 period at a cost of $275,000. The cost will be shared by the Truckee Meadows Water Authority ($175,000) and the Western Regional Water Commission ($100,000). The enhanced snowfall from cloud seeding is expected to enhance the water supply of the Truckee River System. In spite of a well below normal snowpack for the 2012 water year the Lake Tahoe Water Level of 6226.4' on September 1, 2012 was above normal due to well above normal snowpack during WY2011. A continuation of the cloud seeding effort will help maintain ample water storage for the entire Truckee River system, a situation that is of benefit now and in the future when snowfall is again below normal. Results from carefully conducted experiments in the Sierra Nevada and other mountainous regions in the western U. S. have shown that snowfall can be increased by 5-15% annually in the specific basins targeted by cloud seeding operations. Past environmental assessments have all indicated that no negative impacts to watersheds are produced by cloud seeding operations.