Public Policy Issues in Weather Modification

by Dean E. Mann,

Serial Information: Journal of the Irrigation and Drainage Division, 1969, Vol. 95, Issue 3, Pg. 375-384

Document Type: Journal Paper


Weather modification is a relatively new technique of environmental control promising important benefits but threating significant disbenefits as well. As such it is the proper subject for public regulation. Numerous public policy approaches are considered here. Because experimentation and action programs are desirable, the imposition of controls should be carefully planned and phased to promote careful experimentation and protect ecological values. Public regulation presently is principally a state responsibility but federal involvement will be both necessary and desirable. The federal and state governments must regulate to prevent contamination of projects and prevent projects from interfering with each other. Licensing and setting of scientific qualifications for researchers and practitioners is called for, probably at state level. Projects of appropriate size must be mounted to maximize scientific results while not endangering biological communities. Several federal agencies are involved in weather modification and appropriate roles and missions must be assigned each. An appropriate administrative mechanism must be found for regulating weather modification. Serious questions of indemnification and international relations remain unanswered.

Subject Headings: Federal government | Public opinions | Public policy | Ecosystems | State government | Pollution | Licensure and certification | Biological processes

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