Precipitation Enhancement FAQ

When will this program be in operation and for how long?

The 2016 Precipitation Enhancement Program will begin on April 1, 2016, and will end approximately September 30, 2016. The program operates during the prime rainfall months, and the current permit for the program will continue through 2020.

What is the operational area for this program?

The operational area includes all or portions of the 9 counties making up the Panhandle Groundwater Conservation District service area. Those counties include Carson, Gray, Wheeler, Armstrong, Donley, Roberts, and portions of Hemphill, Potter, and Hutchinson counties.

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, Brent Phipps and Angela Wendell.

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 2015 cost for the program was $144,932.70 or less than 4 cents per acre for our entire district.

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.