Los Angeles has a new idea for how to combat drought: cloud-seeding. The county plans to spend $800,000 on a plan to increase rainfall in the San Gabriel Mountains by shooting a whole bunch of silver iodide into the air. This may sound like a harebrained scheme to you, but luckily county officials have really thought things through:

While many think of airplanes seeding clouds, the county plans to use ground-based generators, another common method.
The generators will be placed along the base of the San Gabriels and will use flares or propane burners to spray particles. Flares would be used only during winter rains, not during fire season, said Diego Cadena, deputy director of the county Department of Public Works.

Reassuring! Opinion seems to be split between people who don't think cloud-seeding works at all and those who fear it will work too well--last time the county tried it, in the 1970s, it may have contributed to a huge storm in February 1978 that caused flooding, mudslides, and eleven deaths. So maybe it'll work just right and prove everybody wrong.

--Josh Patashnik