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April 06, 1984 - Image 33

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-04-06

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Seeding eases
water shortage

Friday, April 6, 1984

JEWELRY
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GEMOLOGIST/DIAMONTOLOGIST

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ATTENTION

The sun breaks through rain clouds over Jerusalem.
BY ELLEN DAVIDSON
contain unless we help
Israel Govt. Press Service
them." When silver iodide is
JERUSALEM — It's injected, he explains, ice
raining 15 percent more in crystals form around each
certain parts of Israel and particle of silver iodide and
the man responsible for it is consequently each of these
Prof. Avraham Gagin of crystals becomes an "em-
the Meteorological De- bryonic raindrop."
partment of Jerusalem's
Israelis batter the clouds
Hebrew University.
with silver iodide from
Gagin, a genial man above and below. Crop dust-
whose grandfather was ing planes are used, spray-
chief Sephardic rabbi of ing' the chemical into the
Jerusalem, leads the re- clouds from generators
search that has made Israel under the wings. From the
the world leader in artifi- ground, silver iodide is sent
cially induced precipitation. up through vast batteries of
And in Israel, where the generators located
population currently con- throughout the country. In
sumes more than 95 percent the winter months, the only
of the available water sup- time serious clouds are seen
ply, the professor could be in the sky here, radio listen-
considered a man of excep- ers hear the mystifying in-
tional powers not unlike structions at the end of the
rainmakers who have been news broadcasts, "light the
looked at with awe stoves," or "turn off the
throughout the centuries.
stoves," referring to the
Using the conventional funny-looking devices with
methods of cloud seeding, smokestacks, and impor-
the injection of a fine pow- tant part of the rainmaking
der of silver iodide into a scheme.
cloud, Prof. Gagin modestly
The results are pleasing
says, the "powers" of his to the rainmakers and the
staff lie in knowing which
government, who keep in
clouds to seed. "We don't mind that Israel's water re-
make rain," he says, "we
serves are not only low, but
simply encourage the rain-
have reached what some
producing cloud to let down
experts call a "crisis level."
more precipitation than it
Citizens, on the other hand,
ordinarily would have."
experienced last year one of
When a cloud passes by," the Wettest winters in re-
explains Gagin, "people corded history of this area.
usually assume that it it's
It seems, however, that
white then there will be no the wet, disgruntled citizen
rain, but if it's black the has little to say in view of
rain will come."
the state of Israel's two
"Of course," he says, "all main water sources: the Sea
clouds are white; if the sun of Galilee in the north, fed
shines through them they by the Jordan River, and
look it, if they're too dense natural underground reser-
then they seem black. It's voirs from which water is
all a matter of the density of pumped to the surface
the moisture they carry."
through artesian wells.
Clouds in different parts
In spite of the heavy rain-
of the world contain varying fall, the Sea of Galilee is
amounts of particulate mat- still at its lowest level in 20
ter. South Pacific clouds years and aquifers are in
have 50 particles per square danger of drying out, con-
inch, while those forming sequently suffering damage
over desert areas, such as which can interfere with a
Israel, may contain as many smooth water flow.
as 1,000 smaller particles.
The clbuds that have only AZYF grant
50 particles easily produce
New York — The Ameri-
extremely large raindrops; can Zionist Youth Founda-
"desert" clouds with many tion (AZYF) has established
tiny particles cannot attract a $2,000 scholarship in the
as much moisture to each name of Jewish National
particle and are therefore Fund President Charlotte
not dense enough. Thesci- Jacobson.
entist's job is to fortify them
The annual grant will be
with chemicals.
awarded to an individual
"Such clouds," says Ga- age 20-26, who has applied
gin, "will often be unable to for a year's study in a uni-
let down the moisture they versity in Israel.

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33

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