The Orchard City Town Board meeting on Aug. 14 approved a $500 donation to the local Weather Enhancement Authority (WEA). The money will be used to support a system of 16 cloud seeding machines around and atop the Grand Mesa and which are credited with increasing local snowfall yields.
The WEA, which is affiliated with the Grand Mesa Water Conservancy District, had sent the town a "bill" for the $500 amount. Town trustee Jimmie Boyd researched the matter and presented a report to the trustees at their Aug. 14 meeting.
The program began some 20 years ago and is operated on a regional basis with support from municipalities and water agencies within the Grand Mesa watershed.
Prices for materials used in the cloud seeding process (silver iodide, acetone and propane) are low now and the WEA wants to buy supplies, Boyd reported.
Of the 16 cloud seeding machines, 14 are manually operated by volunteers on whose private property they are located. Two other machines located atop Grand Mesa are automatically operated, he said.
Some estimates are that cloud seeding can increase snowfall yield by up to 10 percent.
Trustee Jan Gage, who also serves as vice president of the Orchard City Irrigation District, said, "I don't know if it works, but it would be an expensive lesson to learn (if it does work and the town didn't have it)."
The trustees agreed to make the $500 donation to the WEA for the project.
Separately, the Orchard City Irrigation District board met on July 31 and increased its water allocation to users from 45 percent to 52 percent. Gage told the DCI, "There were a number of factors that allowed us to do that. The largest single factor has probably been the (recent) monsoons."blog comments powered by Disqus