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Cloud seeding research needs more time, money

Officials say a cloud seeding research project in Wyoming needs two more years and another $2.4 million to be considered scientifically complete.

Cloud seeding is a form of intentional weather modification -- usually an attempt to change the amount of precipitation by dispersing substances into the air that alter processes within the cloud.

The state has invested about $11 million in the project since 2005. The project seeks to determine whether cloud seeding increases the amount of snowpack in several Wyoming mountain ranges.

Supporters of the project say increasing the state's winter snowpack would provide more water for communities and irrigation and would be cheaper than building new dams and reservoirs.

Barry Lawrence, of the Wyoming Water Development Office, says the state Water Commission and Legislature must approve the request to extend the research project to March 2014. 

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