Regions forecast to have significant water deficits for the 12-month period from November 2017 through October 2018 include: California, Nevada, Arizona, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Venezuela, French Guiana, Gabon, Mongolia, and Tasmania. Areas with a forecast of significant water surplus include: Ireland, Poland, European Russia, Tanzania, and Philippines. This Watch List is based on ISciences Water Security Indicator Model (WSIM) run on 6 February 2018.
Much warmer than normal temperatures are forecast in February for the US West, the Baja Peninsula, the Tibetan Plateau, and far northeastern Russia, including the Kamchatka Peninsula. Nearly all of India will be warmer than normal. Paraguay is expected to be cooler than normal. Eastern Brazil should see above average rainfall, as will central Mexico and western India.
With media attention focused on the dire water situation in Cape Town, South Africa - the city is currently expected to run out of water on 16 April - some of our followers are asking why our most recent blog post and maps didn't echo the alarm. Our 12-month forecast ending September 2018 shows merely "moderate" water deficits ahead for the region, something you'd expect to see once every 5 to 10 years. Certainly no alarming red blobs indicating "exceptional" water deficits, those that might occur only once in 40 or more years. How can that be, given the desperate and very real situation in Cape Town right now?
Water deficits in the Southwest and Southern California will moderate overall in the near-term. Intense deficits will spread in Missouri, persist in northern Louisiana and central Mississippi into central Alabama, and emerge in North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware. Surpluses are forecast for Idaho, western Montana, southern Wyoming, central Nebraska, Minnesota into Wisconsin, and Michigan. After March, primarily moderate deficits will continue to emerge from California to North Carolina, and surpluses are forecast for Idaho, western Montana, northwestern Wyoming, and along the Columbia, Missouri, and Yellowstone Rivers.
The forecast through March indicates exceptional surpluses in European Russia, along the Middle Ob River, the Tom River Basin, and Aktobe Region, Kazakhstan. Surpluses are also forecast for much of the Yenisei River. Exceptional deficits are expected in the Yamal Peninsula. Intense deficits are forecast for Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. After March, surpluses in Russia are forecast to diminish. Deficits will downgrade in Yamal, persist in Turkmenistan, and spread in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. Moderate deficits will emerge in the Caucasus, western Kyrgyzstan and western Tajikistan.
A number of significant transitions are forecast for the next three months. Though exceptional water deficits will diminish across northern South America – transitioning to surplus in many northern nations and the northern Amazon Basin – deficits will intensify in eastern Brazil. Surpluses are forecast to emerge throughout Paraguay and into southern Brazil. Surpluses in Uruguay will transition to moderate deficit; Buenos Aires Province, Argentina will transition from surplus to near-normal. After March, water anomalies will moderate considerably across most of the continent.
Intense water deficits across northwestern Mexico are expected to moderate from January through March, but moderate to severe deficits will spread in the north-central states. Intense deficits will emerge in Nayarit, Jalisco, Colima, and Michoacán. Deficits in western Cuba will moderate. Significant surpluses are expected to persist in Honduras, Nicaragua, northern Costa Rica, and Jamaica. After March, deficits are forecast in northern Mexico, moderate surpluses along the southwestern coast, and surpluses in Central America will diminish.
The near-term forecast indicates a pattern of water anomalies much like the prior three months. Widespread surpluses will continue in northeastern Quebec, central Ontario, west of Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba, near Churchill Lake in Saskatchewan and into Alberta, the central border of Alberta and British Columbia, and southeastern BC. Deficit areas include: central Quebec and the Ontario/Quebec border; northwestern Ontario into central Manitoba; and southern Manitoba and southeastern Saskatchewan. After March, surpluses in Quebec and Ontario will transition to deficit.
Widespread exceptional deficits are expected to moderate considerably through March, but intense deficits will continue to emerge in southeastern Turkey, Syria, Jordan, northern Saudi Arabia, and Iraq. Moderate to severe deficits are forecast throughout Iran. Deficits in Qatar, UAE, and Yemen will downgrade to primarily moderate. After March, deficits on the Arabian Peninsula are expected to resume prior intensity and deficits will emerge throughout Turkey and in nearby Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, completing a picture of deficits blanketing the entire Middle East.
Exceptional deficits observed in recent months are forecast to nearly disappear, though intense deficits will persist in western Tasmania and the southwestern tip of Western Australia. The near-term forecast includes moderate deficits in South Australia, becoming more intense past the Eyre Peninsula and along Victoria’s coast. Moderate deficits are expected in the eastern Murray-Darling Basin which may be more severe in Riverina, and moderate deficits are forecast for New Zealand. After March, deficits will be mild overall but more severe in Busselton, Tasmania, and New Zealand.