The United Arab Emirates (UAE) hopes drones can do something about one of its most precious and scarce natural resources. It’s hired British researchers to explore ways drones can make it rain.

The UAE typically receives less than four inches of rain per year. And this year’s “rainy season” is mostly over. Most of the emirate’s water comes from desalinization plants, so it’s exploring new technologies to help increase the annual rainfall. Researchers at the University of Reading will test if drones setting off electrical arcs can encourage the skies to open up.

Dr. Keri Nicoll is an associate professor at the University of Reading. She told Arab News, “Our theory and modeling work has shown that charging these small droplets can increase the likelihood of them merging through electrostatic forces. And ultimately help them become raindrops.”

Can drones make it rain?

UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science
Alya al-Mazroui

We’ve seen drones capture weather data, but actually making weather…