Many parts of Southeast Asia and the Pacific may continue to experience moderate to exceptional water deficits in the coming months, as evident in the 12-month map below. The map is based on observed data through August and forecasts issued the last week of August 2015.

Officials in Cambodia are warning that rice crops in western provinces, home to the country's largest rice fields and plantations, will fail if the region does not receive rain in the next month. The National Hydrometeorological Centre in Vietnam is predicting rainfall deficiency of 20-50 percent during the rainy season - September through November - in the southern region and Central Highlands, and that the rainy season may finish sooner. Warnings have been issued to the hydropower sector as well. Total flow capacity in the Da River basin in September and October could decrease by 25 percent compared with last year’s period. Water experts in Thailand are advising farmers to adopt new farming styles or look for jobs, based on their prediction that the drought will continue through May.

As seen in the 3-month composites (below) for the same 12-month period, deficits may be of the greatest extent and severity September through November and may persist through May, particularly in eastern Borneo and neighboring Sulawesi, the island of New Guinea, and the Philippines. Deficits may persist and spread March through May in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Thailand may experience both surpluses and deficits through February. (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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