The Big Picture
The forecast through November 2016, as seen in the 12-month composite map (below), indicates a complex patchwork of water conditions in the region. Deficits are forecast for western Afghanistan and western Pakistan. Both deficits and surpluses are forecast in eastern Afghanistan. In India’s far north - Jammu and Kashmir – surpluses are forecast, while deficits persist in nearby states to the south. Much of southern India is forecast to experience deficits, though both deficits and surpluses are also predicted. Water surpluses are forecast in western Nepal; deficits in Bhutan.

Impacts
To prevent violence in the drought-ravaged Marathwada region of Maharashtra, India, the district of Latur has banned gatherings of more than five people at a time near wells and public storage tanks. The drought has fueled large-scale migration from Marathwada, pushing more than two million people into urban centers and neighboring states. In 2015, the government reports, 3,228 Maharashtran farmers committed suicide. With heavy rain predicted in India's northernmost state of Jammu and Kashmir, the governor has ordered early dredging of the Jhelum River in an effort to avoid flooding like that which occurred in the previous two years at this time and which devastated the area in September 2014. After flooding hit Chennai a few months ago the local real estate market is flailing, with current owners unable to sell and projects stalled.

Forecast Breakdown
The 3-month composites (below) show the evolving conditions in more detail. Widespread water deficits are forecast for much of India through May 2016, with exceptional deficits from Gujarat northward through Rajasthan and also in India’s southern tip. The Ganges and Krishna Rivers may experience deficits in May. Both deficits and surpluses are forecast for southeastern India and Sri Lanka. From June through November a transition to moderate surpluses is forecast reaching coast-to-coast across India’s mid-section. Deficits are forecast to emerge in Assam and other northeastern India states in June and persist for several months.

Moderate surpluses are forecast to emerge along the northern portion of the Indus River in Pakistan in March and April while deficits are forecast along the southern portion; in August both deficits and surpluses are expected along the northern Indus. Flooding is forecast along the Gandaki River in the center of Nepal in August.

(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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