Southeast Asia & the Pacific: Water deficits forecast for Thailand, Cambodia, Malay Peninsula, Timor
The Big Picture
Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and the Malay Peninsula are forecast to continue in conditions of water deficit through March 2017 (below). Water surpluses are forecast for western Borneo, parts of Java, and western Flores Island.
The European Union's humanitarian arm, ECHO, says that the El Niño-induced drought in Vietnam has left 1 million people in need of food assistance and 2 million people lacking access to drinking water. In part due to the impact of drought on agriculture, the World Bank cut Vietnam's 2016 growth outlook to 6.0 percent from 6.2 percent.
Livestock deaths in northeastern Cambodia continued into June, as drought devastated the region. In Siem Pang district of Stung Treng, between 20 and 40 percent - at least 200 animals - have perished, leaving villagers with nothing to sell to finance food, medicine and other necessities.
In what Conservation International's Cambodia director describes as "a disaster," nearly 250,000 acres of wetland forest around Tonle Sap Lake - the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia - have burned since January due to drought and land-clearing. As a major fishery, Tonle is the source of 75 percent of the country's protein intake.
The 3-month maps (below) show the evolving conditions in more detail. From July through September deficits in Thailand, Laos, and the Malay Peninsula are forecast to diminish somewhat in extent and severity. Widespread exceptional deficits (greater than 40 years) will persist in Cambodia. Exceptional deficits will emerge in the Mekong Delta in July and deficits of exceptional severity are also forecast for Timor through October. Deficits along the northern coast of New Guinea and in Papua New Guinea are forecast to gradually diminish through March.
Surpluses in western Borneo will gradually diminish through September; surpluses on Java, and Flores Island will diminish also, though may persist a month longer. Sumatra will transition from surplus to deficit beginning in September when moderate deficits will emerge in Riau (central Sumatra) and spread throughout much of the island through March. Deficits will begin to emerge in northern Borneo in the later months of the forecast. From January through March deficits may increase in severity and spread in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam.
(It should be noted that forecast skill declines with longer lead times.)
Search blog categories
Search blog tags