When will this program be in operation and for how long?
The 2017 Precipitation Enhancement Program will begin on April 1, 2017, and will end approximately September 30, 2017. The program operates during the prime rainfall months, and the current permit for the program will continue through 2020.
What is the operational area and the target area for this program?
Panhandle Groundwater Conservation District’s Precipitation Enhancement Program is carried out in both an operational area and a target area, to cause the intended effect(s) to occur only in the target area.
The operational area is composed of the target area and the area within Hutchinson County that is south of the Canadian River and east of Dixon Creek. This is area is shown below in tan.
The target area, which is the area to be affected by the Precipitation Enhancement Program, is limited to the confines of the Panhandle Groundwater Conservation District. Those counties include Carson, Gray, Wheeler, Armstrong, Donley, Roberts, and portions of Hemphill, Potter, and Hutchinson counties. This area is shown below in blue.
How will this program be operated?
The district employs a meteorologist to run the operations from the office in White Deer, and two pilots to operate the airplanes, a 1958 Piper Comanche (red/white) and a 1980 Piper Aztec, which are located at Tradewinds Airport in Amarillo. The current meteorologist is Jennifer Puryear and the current pilots are John Renoir and Aaron Woolsey.
We possess the necessary permits and licenses from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations (TDLR), and we also have the liability insurance that is required to operate the program.
How will this program be funded?
The program is funded through the district’s regular budget. The 2016 cost for the program was $184,612.54 or about 4 cents per acre for our entire district which is 4,038,000 acres.
What is Precipitation Enhancement?
Precipitation enhancement is an attempt to stimulate clouds to generate more rainfall than they would otherwise through the introduction of seeding agents, such as silver iodide. It is also known as cloud seeding.