Drought has always plagued the Isan Plateau, the nickname given by Thais to the northeastern region of Thailand, where almost half of the population is made up of farmers.
Depending on the rains to maintain their crops, farmers traditionally gather at the beginning of the rainy season and ask the weather god to release monsoon rains on earth to launch home-made Bang Fi rockets into the sky.
The higher and louder the rockets, the better, according to folklore.
The deity will be happy with the offerings and will allow plenty of rain for the harvest of the season.
November 14, 1955, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great Went through the filtered area of Isan for royal visit.
The then 28-year-old king saw the effects of water scarcity in the region, resulting in low agricultural yields, leaving people suffering from chronic poverty and malnutrition.
When the young king looked up at the sky in hopes of finding a solution, he noticed that the weather was cloudy, but there was no rain.
Since “every cloud has a good side”, the earth-like king looked at the clouds and found something – an idea of how to attract cloud droplets to farmland.
* “Every cloud has a silver lining” or the English proverb in French: “Every cloud has a good side” to convey the idea that, no matter how serious the situation, there will always be a good side.
“When I went to Isan in November 1955, I had the idea of artificial rain.
There were clouds, but the drought still lasted.
So I had two ideas in my mind.
The first is to build dams, the second is to get water from the clouds.
I remembered hearing about making rain before.
Later, I told my mother Rajavongse Debarithi (agricultural engineering expert) that I could confirm that artificial rain was possible.
Source: His Majesty King Bhoomipol, Interview with Royal Development Project Board Officers, March 17, 1986.
King, who had a keen interest in science from an early age, gained knowledge in technical research from the Faculty of Science at the University of Lausanne.
After 14 years of research on weather and climate change, the first artificial rain experiment was attempted on July 1, 1969.
It was a remarkable success.
It began to rain in 15 minutes, after the planes distributed the scales of dry snow above the navy clouds.
The move is now recognized by Taisal as the Royal Rainmaking Project, “The Royal Rainmaking Project”.
Since then, the project has undergone a series of changes to complete the process of creating artificial rain.
His Majesty King Bhumibol acknowledged that adequate moisture was essential for the success of the rain-making work.
This is why a new chemical formula was invented to increase the amount of moisture for different types of clouds.
The current technique of generating rain now involves three processes.
First, “stir” to activate the cloud formation using salt and other chemicals to accumulate moisture.
Then, ‘urea’ is used to stimulate the accumulation of water droplets in the cloud by dispersing “fat”, calcium chloride, and finally “attack”, and to stimulate precipitation from heavy clouds by adding a mixture of salt and D.
The project was completed in 1992 under the supervision of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives with the establishment of the Royal Rain Preparation and Agricultural Aviation Office.
This technique of raining is unique to Thailand.
In 2001, King Bhumibol received recognition from the Royal Rainmaking Project for “an invention that would benefit the world” from the Eureka system.
In 2003, King Bhumibol was granted a patent by the European Patent Office for Climate Change.
Since this discovery attracted the attention of the international community, many countries have sought to collaborate with Thailand to apply this knowledge to their drought problems.
Jordan, for example, gained permission in 2009 to use rainwater harvesting technology through a memorandum of understanding for training and technology transfer.
Other countries seeking cooperation include Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Australia and the Philippines.
In Thailand, November 14 is now celebrated as “Royal Father’s Day” to commemorate the day that inspired this invaluable initiative that has benefited so many countries around the world.
Fifty years after the birth of the Royal Rainmaking Project, the initiative is still very active today.
No need to trust the weather gods, citizens can submit a request for rain when needed, rain will be provided.
The project allows Thai farmers to harvest continuously, and also to fill hydropower dams to meet rising electricity demand.
In 2013, the Royal Rainmaking and Agricultural Aviation Bureau was modernized and became the Royal Rainmaking and Agricultural Aviation Department due to the importance of its work and expanded responsibilities.
In 2019, the department conducted 1,673 rain production activities across the country.
Nearly 89% of the flights were successful, covering 63 million hectares of forest, agricultural areas and reservoirs.
Heavy rainfall increased water reserves by 2,595 million cubic meters.
Nevertheless, the demand for artificial rain is expected to increase due to the effects of air pollution and global warming, and the ministry is currently exploring the possibility of using rockets to scatter rain material above the clouds. .
Today, under guidance His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn, Lives the legacy of the Royal Rainmaking Project.
Following in his father’s footsteps, Vajiralongkorn embarked on various irrigation projects to combat the drought, namely the construction of six reservoirs in the western province of Ratchapuri, and the development of canal systems, retention dams and leachate to help farmers in the deep south of Thailand.
It is one of the many testimonials of vision, perseverance, perseverance and ingenuity. Of the kings of the Chakri dynasty People and Thailand will take care of the country.