The 12-month composite map (below) shows widespread moderate to exceptional water deficits that are forecast across much of the Middle East and Turkey through October. Surpluses are forecast along the Iraq-Iran border and a small region in northeast Turkey.

Traders are expressing concern over Turkey's next harvest as drought impact is being felt in Central Anatolia, Cukurova and the Southeastern Anatolian Project region. Farmers in Cukurova had to irrigate winter wheat, unusual for the area, and estimates indicate that Central Anatolia's dry land wheat production will be reduced 20%. In war-torn Yemen, whose water supply is limited even in times of peace, 215 fog-harvesting units have been installed, each of which provides about 40 litres a day. Iran's deputy minister of agriculture has announced that the country is considering "water cards" to help control and monitor use in the agricultural sector, which consumes 92% of the country's water reserves while global averages are 70%. Unrest in Khuzestan and Isfahan has added to concerns that the water crisis in Iran is getting worse and could incite conflict.

The 3-month composites (below) for the same 12-month period show the evolving conditions in more detail. From February through April deficits in Turkey are forecast to persist in western and southern regions, and surpluses are forecast in the northeast. During this period surpluses are also expected to persist along the Iraq-Iran border and in Iran along the Caspian Sea. Widespread deficits are forecast for the rest of the region, with exceptional deficits on the Arabian Peninsula in April, encompassing all of Yemen and western Oman. From May through October much of the Middle East is forecast to experience moderate to exceptional water deficits with small pockets of surpluses. The geographic distribution reveals a fairly consistent pattern in the region over the six-month period. Greatest severity and extent of deficits is forecast in May, with exceptional deficits forecast for large areas of the Arabian Peninsula and Iran.

(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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