Moderate to exceptional water deficits are forecast for many parts of Southeast Asia and the Pacific through October 2016, as depicted in the map below. Deficits are expected to be most persistent, widespread, and severe in Southeast Asia, Sumatra, eastern Borneo, the southern Philippines, and Papua, New Guinea. Surpluses are forecast for western Borneo and Java.

In Thailand water rationing has been instituted in 3 provinces, districts in 14 provinces have been declared disaster zones, Ubolratana Dam is at only 27% of capacity, and farmers have been ordered not to grow second crops or farm fish in order to conserve water for drinking. According to Vietnam's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Mekong Delta is facing its worst drought and saline intrusion in 90 years, while upstream Thailand pumps water from the Mekong. The Papua New Guinean National Disaster Centre estimates that 2 million people are currently affected by drought, and food insecurity has devastated subsistence farmers.

As seen in the 3-month maps (below), water deficits in the region are forecast to diminish somewhat in extent and severity throughout the forecast period. Western Borneo is currently transitioning to moderate surpluses and Java is forecast to transition to surpluses in March. The Java surpluses are then forecast to intensify from July through October. In Southeast Asia, widespread exceptional deficits are expected to moderate from May through June, and then begin to re-intensify from July through October.

(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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