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Can countries steal rain from others' clouds? Accusations fly as Middle East drought intensifies

The turbine sails of the Scout Moor Wind Farm in the South Pennines dominate the skyline on Nov. 16, 2009,  in Rochdale, United Kingdom.  (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
The turbine sails of the Scout Moor Wind Farm in the South Pennines dominate the skyline on Nov. 16, 2009, in Rochdale, United Kingdom. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

How serious is the drought in the Middle East? Serious enough that some Iranian officials have, for years, accused other countries of stealing water from their clouds.

In a region where more than half of countries are getting fewer than 10 inches of rain a year, desperate nations are sinking dollars — and hope — into cloud seeding programs. But are they really stealing water? And is cloud seeding the fix they want it to be?

New York Times reporter Alissa Rubin examines those questions in her recent article “Cloud Wars: Mideast Rivalries Rise Among A New Front.” She talks to Here & Now‘s  Robin Young about the issues.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.