5th International Rain Enhancement Forum Kicks off in Virtual Format

  • Elite group of international panelists to discusses latest developments in rain enhancement science and global water security
  • Winning research proposals to receive US$1.5 million each from UAE’s Rain Enhancement Research Programme

ABU DHABI, UAE ‒ January 25, 2021:  His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, reiterated the continued support of UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan for all efforts to promote global water sustainability.  HH the President appreciated all the efforts exerted by the scientific community to find science-based solutions for the problem of water scarcity, which is a national security issue and an urgent domestic and international priority.

HH Sheikh Mansour made these statements in his remarks delivered on his behalf by His Excellency Dr Abdulla Al Mandous, Director of the National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) and President of the Asian Meteorological Union (Regional Association II) at the opening of the 5th International Rain Enhancement Forum (IREF 2021).

In his remarks, HH Sheikh Mansour said, “Water security has attracted significant interest from governments worldwide as over 40% of the world’s population faces severe water shortages and, according to the United Nations reports, this percentage is likely to rise to 50% by 2030.  This situation requires concerted national, regional and international action to promote research and development and attract investment in new technologies as well as establishing effective partnerships.”

His Highness added, “As part of its Water Security Strategy 2036, the UAE seeks to ensure sustainable and uninterrupted access to water during normal and extreme emergency conditions alike.  To increase precipitation and enhance fresh water supplies in the country, we launched the pioneering UAE Research Programme for Rain Enhancement Science in 2015, yielding promising results, broadly applicable to many arid and semi-arid regions facing scarcity of water resources across the globe.”

During the opening of the event, the UAE Research Programme for Rain Enhancement Science (UAEREP) announced the launch of its fourth cycle, and submissions are open to innovative project proposals from different parts of the world.  The Programme offers a grant of up to US$1.5 million, distributed over three years with a maximum annual amount of $550,000 for each winning research proposal in the rain enhancement field.

For his part, HE Dr Abdulla Al Mandous, said, “IREF is convened this year in a virtual format due to the unprecedented disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially to water security, as the demand for water has witnessed a steady increase since the pandemic broke out.  This has exacerbated the situation as nearly half of the world’s population is facing an acute shortage of fresh potable water.

His Excellency added, “As part of its tireless efforts to address various global issues, especially those directly impacting the lives of millions of people around the globe, the UAE has been playing an active role in developing solutions to the shortage of natural water resources.  The launch of the UAE Research Programme for Rain Enhancement Science in 2015 under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the management and supervision of NCM, articulates the country’s sustained efforts to bolster water security locally, regionally and globally”.

In her address to the forum, Ms Alya Al Mazroui, Director of the UAE Research Programme for Rain Enhancement Science (UAEREP), said, “In continuation of the Programme’s tireless efforts to support the advancement of rain enhancement research, we have launched its fourth cycle and started receiving innovative project proposals from leading scientists and research institutions from across the globe.  We look forward to selecting ground-breaking ideas and solutions that serve the targeted research areas with the help of top international experts and scientists.  This will pave the way for exploring and developing new knowledge in rain enhancement sciences.

Al Mazroui also revealed that IREF has now been turned into a biennial event and its sixth edition will be held in January 2023.

Interested academic institutions, research centres and other relevant organisations can submit their pre-proposals from January 24 to March 18, 2021, via the link https://apply.uaerep.ae covering the following research field:  Weather Modelling and Forecasting Using Artificial Intelligence and Ensemble Modelling.  The proposal must evaluate rain enhancement efficiency through the utilisation of cloud chamber and randomised inputs in statistical methods, innovations in rain enhancement systems through the integration of new measurement and numerical tools, and leveraging innovative rain enhancement models, among others.

IREF’s agenda on the opening day featured a video highlighting the importance of both the event and the Programme, the innovative projects that have received the Programme’s grant, the timeline for the Programme’s fourth cycle, and the procedures for the submission and evaluation of research proposals.

The UAEREP is a global research initiative launched by HH Sheikh Mansour to complete the country’s strategy of creativity and its seven pillars, of which water is an important element.  The Programme is designed to encourage and promote scientific and technical progress in the field of rain enhancement.  It offers a grant for the most distinguished research in the field of rain enhancement around the world.


For more information, please contact:

Mohammed Al Muhairi

Director, Media and Marketing,

National Centre of Meteorology

Tel: 00-971-2-222-7777

E-mail: malmuhairis@nmcs.ae