The forecast through June 2016, as seen in the composite 12-month map (below), indicates a predominance of water surpluses in the north and along central rivers. The map is based on observed data through September 2015 and forecasts issued the last week of September 2015. However, exceptional deficits may persist in southern Victoria, southern South Australia, Tasmania, and from Perth southward. Moderate deficits may persist in North Island, New Zealand.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology reports that September rainfall was below average for most of Australia, and was among the ten driest on record for Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia. Water reform in the Murray-Darling Basin remains a contentious issue - water is now designated for "environmental flows" as well as for irrigation. In Tasmania, three seasons of significantly below average rainfall has created a serious situation for farmers - some of whom are saying they won't cut any hay or silage this season or are de-stocking.

The 3-month composite (below) for the same 12-month period shows the evolving conditions in more detail.

Deficits are forecast across much of Australia over the next several months but may diminish in most places by December, with the notable exceptions mentioned above. The transition to surpluses is evident in the latter half of the forecast period. (It should be noted that forecast skill declines with longer lead times.)

Comment

Many analyses reported in ISciences-authored blog posts are based on data generated by the ISciences Water Security Indicator Model (WSIM). Other sources, if used, are referenced in footnotes accompanying individual posts. WSIM is a validated capability that produces monthly reports on current and forecast global freshwater surpluses and deficits with lead times of 1-9 months at 0.5°x0.5° resolution. This capability has been in continuous operation since April 2011 and has proven to provide reliable forecasts of emerging water security concerns in that time-frame. WSIM has the ability to assess the impacts of water anomalies on people, agriculture, and electricity generation. Detailed data, customized visualizations, and reports are available for purchase.

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