What is the Weather Modification Grant Program?
The Weather Modification Grant Program provides state grants to water providers, local governments and/or their fiscal agents that assist in funding ground-based wintertime operational cloud seeding programs. The state funding is designed to model successes in Utah where state funding has helped local water user-sponsored cloud seeding programs for decades. Currently only wintertime, ground-based cloud seeding is eligible for a grant. Weather modification programs like summertime hail cannons or aerial hail suppression and rain augmentation programs are not eligible. Grants are not eligible for field research projects unless they are requested by local sponsors as part of their annual request to the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB).
When available, the base funding comes through the annual CWCB Construction Fund Bill. This funding can be complemented by regional funding. In 2007, agreements were signed related to Colorado River collaboration that allows for out of state funding to come in for local programs.
Who can apply for a Grant?
The Program is only available to existing permitted cloud seeding programs
managed by water user groups and city and county governments. Ski areas and other interests are not currently eligible for cloud seeding grants even if they do participate in an existing permitted cloud seeding program. Currently all permitted projects in Colorado have local water users sponsoring all or part of the cloud seeding except for the Vail/Beaver Creek ski area cloud seeding program.
How can the money be used?
Grant money is to be used to help the local water users fund well-designed cloud seeding programs and help modernize programs to take advantage of new technologies. Permits are issued for five months of winter (typically November 1 through March 31).
Examples of how the money can be used:
How do I apply for a Grant?
- To enable full utilization of all winter months in a weather modification permit.
- To purchase or lease equipment like weather stations and remote-operated ice nuclei generators that enhance reporting and effectiveness of cloud seeding programs.
- To evaluate the effectiveness of cloud seeding in a particular area.
Grants are currently only available for permitted cloud seeding programs. To leverage the Weather Modification Grants Program, you will need to develop a plan and funding at a local level, and then apply for a weather modification permit. Annual requests come from the local level project sponsors to the CWCB.
For more information about cloud seeding permits or the Weather Modification Grants Program, contact Andrew Rickert
at 303-866-3441 x3249.
: Permitted programs are encouraged to develop recommendations and proposals to submit to the CWCB by July 1 of each year to allow agencies to prepare for the following winter.
What is the approval process after I have submitted a grant application?
The CWCB staff works with contractors and project sponsors and assesses the available funding through the CWCB and Colorado River agreements to determine the programs in operation and their needs for the year and then develops the recommendations. The priorities and grant funding levels are meant to be equitable and are established by the CWCB staff with assistance from CWCB Board members.
|Gunnison Cloud Seeding Program
||For winter 2009-2010, Gunnison County worked with permit holder North American Weather Consultants from Sandy, Utah. $20,000 in funding from the CWCB and $20,000 in funding through Colorado River cloud seeding agreements created the basis of a 23 generator, five month-long program (November through March).
|Denver Water and Winter Park Ski Area Remote-Operated Generators
||For winter 2009-2010, Denver Water and Winter Park Ski Area worked with permit holder Western Weather consultants to develop a three and one-half month (November through mid-February) 10 generator program for $110,000. This program was complemented by a $62,300 proposal from Desert Research Institute in Reno, Nevada, to operate two remote-operated generators for five months of winter (November through March) that was half funded by the CWCB and half funded through Colorado River cloud seeding agreements.