(CNN)With a harsh, desert climate and an average rainfall of just four inches (10 cm) a year, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) needs more freshwater. In search of a solution, it has been funding science projects from around the world to try to make it rain.
Scientists are zapping clouds with electricity to make rain
One of these projects involves using catapults to launch small unmanned aircraft which zap clouds with an electric charge.
A team of scientists from the University of Reading, in the UK, initially proposed the idea in 2017. Now, the custom-built drones will soon begin tests near Dubai.
The idea is that charging droplets in clouds will make them more likely to fall as rain.