In January 2014, Governor Jerry Brown proclaimed a State of Emergency throughout California due to severe drought conditions. In response to the Governor's proclamation, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors directed Public Works to pursue enhancing local water supplies by reviving a cloud seeding project. On October 20, 2015, the Board Approved the County of Los Angeles Weather Modification Project and awarded a service contract for As-Needed Weather Modification (Cloud Seeding) Services to North American Weather Consultants (NAWC). This contract was for a term of 1 year, with four 1-year renewal options.
The Department of Public Works successfully cloud seeded the San Gabriel Mountains during March and April 2016. Public Works engineering staff and NAWC licensed professional meteorologists operated up to 10 land based cloud seeding generators. The operation of the cloud seeding generators depended on weather forecasts, consultant analysis, and the targeted watersheds anticipated increase in rainfall amounts. With the end of the storm season on April 15, 2016, cloud seeding operations ceased.
During the summer of 2016, the San Gabriel Complex and Sand fires burned a significant portion of the watersheds targeted by the cloud seeding project. Consequently, cloud seeding operations were not restarted and the service contract was allowed to expire. Although the application of the latest cloud seeding techniques and methodologies was a success, the Department does not currently anticipate pursuing cloud seeding operations until the project’s targeted burnt watersheds have completely recovered and replenishment of local water supplies warrant.