Regions forecast to have significant water deficits for the 12-month period from December 2017 through November 2018 include: the US West, Southwest, and South Atlantic States; southern Venezuela; Uruguay; northeastern Argentina; Finland; northern Africa and Gabon; and southern Iraq. Areas with a forecast of significant water surplus include: the Ohio River Valley and western Montana (US); Paraguay; Tanzania and Ethiopia; Ireland; Central and Eastern Europe; and European Russia. This Watch List is based on ISciences Water Security Indicator Model (WSIM) run on 7 March 2018.
The March Outlook indicates that East Africa, Southeast Asia, and Paraguay will be significantly wetter than normal. A vast stretch of much warmer than normal conditions is forecast from West Africa leading across Mediterranean Africa, through the Levant, and from northern Iran through Central Asia across much of northern China into Mongolia.
The forecast for the next few months indicates relief from exceptional water deficits observed during the prior three months in the West and the Lower Mississippi states. However, widespread deficits remain in the forecast from California to the Mississippi, and from the Gulf of Mexico northward along the Eastern Seaboard through Massachusetts. Deficits will be especially intense in New Mexico, Missouri, and Virginia. Surpluses are forecast for Washington, Idaho, western Montana, and along the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers. The widespread distribution of deficits is expected to persist through July or longer.
Widespread, exceptional water deficits observed in recent months in Australia are forecast to nearly disappear, though intense deficits will persist in Tasmania and near Busselton, WA. Through April, primarily moderate deficits are forecast from the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia through much of Victoria and into New South Wales; for central Queensland to the Gulf of Carpentaria; and, northwest to Darwin, where deficits may be more severe. Deficits are expected to retreat significantly in New Zealand, but will continue to emerge in New Caledonia.
The forecast through April indicates water conditions much the same as in the prior three months, with some overall shrinkage of anomalies in the eastern half of the country. One notable difference is the emergence of widespread intense surplus conditions in southern British Columbia. After April, much of the eastern half of the country will transition to deficit, retaining exceptional deficits in eastern Quebec, central Quebec, and the central Quebec/Ontario border. Deficits in the western provinces will diminish slightly, and intense surpluses will persist in parts of southern BC.
In the next few months, exceptional water deficits will retreat in northwestern Mexico but persist in southern Baja and emerge in Nayarit. Severe deficits are forecast in the north-central states and along the Rio Grande. Some pockets of surplus are expected in southern Mexico and northern Guatemala, and more intense surpluses in Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. Severe deficit is forecast for western Cuba and the Bahamas. After April, deficits will downgrade in southern Baja and surpluses will emerge in western Mexico from Durango into Oaxaca.
Exceptional water deficits are forecast to diminish considerably in the coming months, but pockets are forecast through April in southern Venezuela, Amapá (Brazil), western Brazil, western Ecuador, and around the Gulf of Corcovado in southern Chile. Deficits are also forecast in southern Colombia, northern Peru, Uruguay, Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil), and northeastern Argentina. Surplus is forecast in northeastern Venezuela, scattered throughout eastern Brazil, northern Bolivia, and eastern Paraguay. After April, the extent of anomalous water conditions will shrink.
Intense water deficits will persist in central India through April, after which a transition to surplus is forecast stretching coast to coast across the country’s middle. Until the transition, deficits will be extreme in Madhya Pradesh, western Chhattisgarh, western Karnataka, and eastern Andhra Pradesh, and moderate deficits will emerge in Odisha, Telangana, and southern Tamil Nadu. Intense surplus will persist in Bangladesh, nearby Indian states, and Nepal. Deficits in Afghanistan will downgrade but persist, as will deficits in northern Sri Lanka.
Exceptional water deficits will persist in western Cambodia through April. Deficits of varying severity are expected in Sumatra, Java, western Borneo, and Papua New Guinea. Intense surpluses are forecast for western and eastern Myanmar, northern Laos, along the Mekong River until it reaches Cambodia, and central Philippines. Surpluses are also forecast for Vietnam, pockets of Thailand, Brunei, and northeastern Borneo. After April, surpluses will retreat, Cambodia will transition to near-normal, and deficits are expected in Malaysia, Sumatra, and western Borneo.
Exceptional water surplus in European Russia will shrink and downgrade, though widespread surpluses will continue to emerge and will remain intense from St. Petersburg to the Rybinsk Reservoir and in Murmansk. Exceptional surpluses will emerge in the Vakh River Basin stretching east across the Yenisei River between the Angara and Podkamennaya Tunguska Rivers. Deficits near Yekaterinburg will upgrade, deficits around Yamal will downgrade, and deficits in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan will moderate. Kazakhstan will transition from surplus to deficit. After April, much of the region will transition to deficits of varying severity.