China plans to dish out $168 million to manipulate its skies.

The goal is to make it rain -- literally -- over the country’s dry northwestern provinces. The budget was approved by China’s top economic agency, the South China Morning Post reported Tuesday.

The targeted area is a hot and dry desert, and it spans about 370,658 square miles. That’s approximately the size of France and Italy, but it’s only 10 percent of China’s land. The entire project is predicted to take about three years.

The budget, which was approved by the National Development and Reform Commission, covers the cost of four new planes, upgrades for eight new aircraft, and 897 new rocket devices. Plus, nearly 2,000 rocket devices will be connected to digital control systems.  

China has adopted a few different methods to actually modify the weather. One of those methods uses rockets or other aircraft to plant seeds in the clouds with dry ice to prompt rainfall. The method, appropriately enough, is called cloud seeding. More recently, China has experimented with shooting chemicals such as silver iodide into clouds to induce rain.

Weather modification is actually nothing new for China. Since 2006, the government’s rain enhancement has increased precipitation by 55 billion cubic meters. In 2008, China used weather manipulation to clear the skies before the 2008 Olympics. Last  summer, China allocated $30 million into weather modification to combat drought.

And China isn’t the only country to pour money into weather modification either. Last year, Russia, invested $1.3 to prevent the skies from raining down on the country's May Day celebration. The practice of weather modification actually began in the United States in the 1940s, when a couple of General Electric scientists first experimented with cloud seeding.