The Tokyo metropolitan government has tried cloud seeding in an attempt induce rainfall and alleviate one of the worst water shortages on record in the Kanto region.
Continued high temperatures this summer, exacerbated by a lack of rainfall have caused severe water shortages. Having already reduced the maximum limits that can be drawn from the dam system providing water to the Tokyo metropolitan area, the government said that it authorized the use of a device that artificially induces rainfall, NTV reported Thursday.
The ground-based cloud seeding device, which was installed in Okutama 50 years ago, was activated on Wednesday. Officials say it is the first time the machine has been used in 12 years. The machine uses silver iodide to cause water vapor stored in clouds to freeze, condense and fall as precipitation.
The government has referred to the cloud seeding attempt as "an experiment". The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Bureau of Waterworks confirmed that rain fell roughly an hour after the experiment took place. In a public statement, the bureau said it believes cloud seeding may help increase rainfall in the Kanto region by around 5%.© Japan Today