Many parts of Southeast Asia and the Pacific may continue to experience moderate to exceptional water deficits in the coming months. The 12-month map (below) shows the dominance of the deficits through July 2016.

One-third of the population of Papua New Guinea, the most populous Pacific Island state, is suffering from the country's worst drought in a century. Water shortages have closed schools and hospitals, dried up staple crops, and increased the risk of gastro-intestinal illness. In Vietnam the Mekong Delta faces saline intrusion and water shortage due to low river levels. According to the National Centre for Hydrometeorology Forecast, the flow of the Mekong River in the delta through early 2016 is expected to be 20-40 percent lower than average. The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration, which issues El Niño advisories, has stated that, by the end of February more than 80% of provinces will experience drought conditions.

In the forecast for November through July, as seen in the 3-month maps (below), deficits may be most persistent and severe in Southeast Asia, eastern Borneo, the Philippines, and the island of New Guinea.

Some moderate surpluses are forecast November through January in northernmost Sumatra and across the Malacca Strait in Malaysia; February through April in eastern Java; and May through July in Java and pockets of New Guinea.

(It should be noted that forecast skill declines with longer lead times.)


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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