Since several years ago, New Mexico has been awarding cloud seeding permits. Utah and Colorado have been seeding clouds in the Upper Colorado River Basin for decades, costing between $1 and $1.5 million a year.
Frank McDonough, a scientist at the nonprofit Desert Research Institute, tells AP that the research that s come out over the last 10 years or so really seems to have convinced [states] that cloud seeding is a legitimate way to increase snowpack and subsequent water resources.
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The federal investment comes at a crucial time when the main reservoirs in the Colorado River basin are at historic lows and Western communities and industry are scrambling to save water even as supplies are further depleted.