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Could cloud seeding help relieve drought in the West?

Historic Drought Cripples Ranches And Farms In American West

John Moore/Getty Images

A cow walk on a dried-up pond in a drought-ravaged pasture on August 22, 2012 near Eads, Colorado

Back in 1946, a scientist working for GE named Bernard Vonnegut (brother of the writer, Kurt Vonnegut) discovered that silver iodide could make clouds produce more rain. 

At the time, the idea of making rain was shrouded in magic and often fraud, but more than half a century later, cloud-seeding has been proven to work and be cost-effective. Plus, with so much of the West facing drought conditions, trying to wring a little more moisture out of passing clouds is becoming more and more popular.

For more on this, we reached out to Dudley McFadden, a civil engineer with SMUD - the Sacramento Municipal Utility District.  

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