WSIM Composite Water Anomaly Index Map for Venezuela (April - September 2015). Location of the Guri Dam is highlighted with a star.

WSIM Composite Water Anomaly Index Map for Venezuela (April - September 2015). Location of the Guri Dam is highlighted with a star.

The map depicts the WSIM composite water anomaly index for Venezuela based on six months of forecast data (April - September 2015). Venezuela is expected to continue to experience widespread deficits, with large portions of the country experiencing exceptional deficit conditions (return periods greater than 40 years) affecting both the heavily populated coastal areas and in the watershed for the Guri dam (highlighted on the map with a star).

The Guri dam provides about 65% of Venezuela's electricity production.  Lake Guri levels (plotted below), are already low, have been dropping rapidly (as we predicted last month), and are approaching the low levels of 2010 when Venezuela last issued an emergency decree due to declining electricity output from Guri dam. Venezuela’s economy is already severely stressed due to low oil prices and mismanagement.  Political discourse in Venezuela has become increasingly contentious and relations with the United States are strained. Additional burdens due to drought and electricity shortages will likely add to those stresses.

Lake Guri Reservoir Levels as Observed by Satellite Altimeters. Note that levels are dropping rapidly and are approaching lows last observed in 2010. Source: USDA Crop Explorer Global Reservoir and Lake Monitor.

Lake Guri Reservoir Levels as Observed by Satellite Altimeters. Note that levels are dropping rapidly and are approaching lows last observed in 2010. Source: USDA Crop Explorer Global Reservoir and Lake Monitor.

This blog post presents results from our April “WSIM Global Water Monitor and Forecast” report. This report is based on observed temperature and precipitation through March 2015 and an ensemble of 28 temperature and precipitation forecasts issued by NOAA's CFSv2 the last week of March 2015.

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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