SLO County using cloud seeding to raise Lopez Lake water level

Lopez Lake

By JOSH FRIEDMAN

San Luis Obispo County will spend an estimated $1 million over the next three years on a cloud seeding project intended to raise the water level of Lopez Lake. [KSBY]

Cloud seeding is a type of weather modification in which particles, such as silver iodide, are released from airplanes in order to increase rainfall. The SLO County Board of Supervisors has approved a three-year extension of its cloud seeding program in order to increase the water level of Lopez Lake.

The South County reservoir is currently at 23% capacity. Rainfall would probably need to double in order to significantly raise the water level at Lopez Lake, said SLO County Public Works Supervising Engineer David Spiegel.

Brent Burchett, the executive director of the San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau, said he believes cloud seeding helped in 2020, generating about 400 acre feet of rainwater.