Group raising money for cloud seeding Red Rock Canyon

A group is raising money for cloud seeding Red Rock Canyon.
Published: Sep. 13, 2022 at 8:56 AM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Can we make it rain or snow at Red Rock Canyon? One local group thinks so and is raising money for a new cloud seeding program.

The group says something must be done to save the ecosystem of the red rocks as the extreme drought continues. The concept is to seed the clouds, which is done by shooting particles into the sky as clouds pass by weighing them down and forcing them to drop the water within.

“If we have the ability to make it rain, we feel like we should make it rain,” said Pauline van Betten, Land and Water Specialist for Save Red Rock.

“We see this opportunity to bring water to this national treasure,” van Betten added.

Save Red Rock argues that for years, Red Rock Canyon has been suffering from extreme drought and the ecosystem especially plants and animals.

“We know that the animals are leaving to go to Las Vegas desperately looking for water,” van Betten stated.

Before the extreme drought began 20 years ago, Red Rock Canyon looked much different.

“There’s two really major springs, and that’s the Upper and Lower Cottonwood Springs and at one time the Lower Cottonwood Springs, there was a 4-foot-deep swimming hole and the Upper Cottonwood Springs was a gigantic pond with frogs and cattails and they have been bone dry for years,” van Betten explained.

Save Red Rock is partnering with the Desert Research Institute on the new cloud seeding program. They answered questions during a webinar.

“There’s three common questions that come up when you talk about a cloud seeing program and the first one is obviously does this work? You know because it seems kind of crazy that you can just make it snow by releasing dust in the atmosphere and the answer is yes, it does work,” Frank McDonough, Program Director of Desert Research Institute asserted.

The idea is to put generators on top of a mountain and shoot silver iodide into passing clouds.

“We are going to purposefully introduce special ice forming dust into clouds with liquid water,” shared McDonough.

Save Red Rock believes cloud seeding potentially could bring millions of gallons of much needed snow and rain to the parched canyon.

“We would start seeding about November 15th, that is when the storms are getting cold enough to do this,” McDonough revealed.

From now until September 30, Save Red Rock is taking donations to make their dream a reality.

They are trying to raise $150,000 and have raised about $30,000 so far.

You can learn more at