China has allocated 8.8 billion yuan (1.34 billion U.S. dollars) in the last five years to support weather modification programs as part of efforts to relieve drought and minimize the impact of natural disasters, the Ministry of Finance said Wednesday.
From 2012 to 2017, central fiscal funds contributed 1.17 billion yuan to the program, while local fiscal funds contributed 7.64 billion yuan, the ministry said on its website.
In 2017 alone, central fiscal funds set aside 206 million yuan, while local governments contributed 1.2 billion yuan..
Weather modification usually refers to cloud-seeding practices that involve shooting substances into clouds to increase rain and reduce hail. It is often used ahead of international events such as last year's G20 summit in Hangzhou.
China has used the technologies to induce 233.5 billion cubic meters of additional rain in the last five years, or three times the capacity of Qinghai Lake, China's largest inland saltwater lake.