Cloud Seeding Protest - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Cloud Seeding Protest

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A protest was held outside Wichita Falls City Hall Wednesday in hopes of putting an end to the Cloud Seeding Project.  Despite the cold temperatures, protestors wanted their voices to be heard.

"There are a lot of people in Wichita Falls that don't want this to go on.  There are a lot of people who don't know much about it," said Wichita Falls resident Annelise Blank.

Those opposed to the project said, they realize the drought stricken area is in much need of rain and water, but they have numerous concerns and unanswered questions.

"Questions like what the long-term health effects are and not just that, but also what the effects on the environment are," said Annelise.

The Cloud Seeding process includes sending a plane into the sky and dropping flares with silver iodide into the clouds.  The hope is that the reaction will increase rain chances.  Annelise's husband Nathaniel is a chemist who has dealt with silver iodide.  He said the chemical is toxic.

"If I can't dump it down the trash or flush it down the drain, then how can it be sprayed in the sky?  It's toxic to aquatic life so why should we be poisoning our lakes and waters," said Nathaniel.

After doing some research, protestors believe city officials should look into a better option to spend the $300,000 the project could potentially cost.

"If the city really wants to do something, really wants to solve this problem and if they were really interested in that, they would be promoting agricultural farming and gardening practices that help with moisture retention," said Annelise.

Although the Cloud Seeding Project has already been approved by city officials, those against it hope the process can be halted until public input has been incorporated.

"I think it needs to be put on a ballot or something else besides just five people voting on it to represent us.  You know this is more than that," said Nathaniel.

Protestors have not yet reached out to Wichita Falls city officials or others that are involved.  They said that's their next move.

An online petition is currently collecting signatures of those who are opposed to the project.  Click here for the link to the petition.

The Cloud Seeding Project may begin as early as March 1 and extend through June 30.  Operations will be suspended in July and August.  It will resume on September 1 through October 31 if needed. 
Cynthia Kobayashi, Newschannel 6.