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DA considers cloud seeding for Region 2 crop irrigation

As the dry season approaches, the Department of Agriculture is considering cloud seeding over Region 2 to produce rain for crops, according to Sandra Aguinaldo and Maki Pulido's report on 24 Oras on Monday.

This involves flying an airplane two kilometers above the ground to pour salt into clouds.

"Ang asin ay hygroscopic in nature. Pag sinabi po nating 'hygroscopic,' it has the ability to attract moisture. Kung 'yung asin dini-dispense natin sa taas, pagdating sa taas, mag-aattract at mag-aattract siya ng moisture," said engineer and PAGASA assistant weather services chief Lorenzo Moron.

According to PAGASA's website, "Salt attracts water vapor more easily than dust, fine sands, etc. In effect, salt acts as the seed upon which cloud droplets form. The purpose of cloud seeding is to produce more rain and to let the coud rain earlier and morea easily than a natural cloud."

Before this, PAGASA would have to use its Doppler radar to determine which cloud is seedable, or contains more moisture. 

"May mga clouds na dry, so ibig sabihin kahit ka pa magbuhos ng ilang kilo ng asin, kung dry ang clouds hindi babagsak. Pero may mga clouds na rich in moisture content," Moron said.

One day of cloud seeding costs anywhere from P80,000 to P100,000.

In Metro Manila, meanwhile, Metro Manila Council president and San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora will urge the establishment of water catchment facilities across the metro. "I will again reiterate my call to my fellow mayors to set up rainwater catchment systems. Importante lang, yung tubig-ulan, huwag nating hayaan dumaloy lamang sa canal at mga drainage. Saluhin natin ito, imbakin natin at muling gamitin," he said. — BM, GMA Integrated News