The Big Picture
As seen in the 12-month map (below) water deficits are forecast in Mexico for the Baja Peninsula and along the Gulf of Mexico from the state of Veracruz through the Yucatan Peninsula. Deficits are also forecast for Guatemala, Belize, and El Salvador.

Impacts
Many of Guatemala's indigenous suffer from what experts call "seasonal hunger" between June and September when the previous harvest is depleted and government assistance is necessary to feed one million people before new crops come in, a situation that has been exacerbated by the recent drought. Some walk for hours to get water, and farmers say there hasn't been enough rain in four years in what is known as Central America's "Corredor Seco" (Dry Corridor) to raise a decent crop of corn and beans.

A new report from the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization - Drought Characteristics and Management in the Caribbean - warns that the Caribbean faces significant challenges from drought. Most Caribbean agriculture is rain-fed, making small-scale, family farmers particularly vulnerable.

After months of drought, reservoirs in Artimisa, Cuba are benefiting from recent rains, though it's not enough, according to the director of the province's hydraulic entity. As of June 9, three of fourteen reservoirs reported over 95 percent capacity with the remainder at between 50 and 60 percent.

Conagua, Mexico's national water authority, reports that Baja California remains the country's most drought-affected region.

Forecast Breakdown
Severe to exceptional water deficits are forecast to persist on the Baja Peninsula through August as seen in the 3-month maps below. Moderate to extreme deficits are forecast during this period for the southern Gulf of Mexico including the states of Veracruz, Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatan, and eastern Chiapas. Mostly moderate surpluses are expected through the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains in northwestern Mexico, and exceptional surpluses are forecast in northeastern Coahuila near the Texas border. In Central America deficits are forecast in Guatemala, Belize, and El Salvador. In the Caribbean deficits are forecast on Dominica, primarily in Haiti; and also in western Puerto Rico.

From September through November deficits in Baja are forecast to diminish, while moderate deficits are expected to persist around the Gulf of Mexico and to emerge in much of the rest of southern Mexico. Deficits are also expected in Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Deficits are forecast to persist in Haiti and emerge in eastern Jamaica. A similar pattern is forecast for December 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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