Exceptional water deficits are forecast to persist across northern Brazil, Suriname, French Guiana, coastal Peru, western Bolivia, and northern and southern Chile, as seen in the 12-month map (below). Surpluses are forecast to emerge in Ecuador and northern Peru. Surpluses are also forecast for southern Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina, and are expected to increase in extent and severity with exceptional surpluses in central Argentina.

Amid a myriad of national crises - crippling recession, presidential impeachment proceedings, and a corruption scandal - heavy rainfall fell over the depleted Cantareira reservoir in Brazil's populous southern state of Sao Paulo. It will take more than one good rainy season, however, to rescue the region and some water refugees have decided to move. Across the Amazon Basin in the north exceptional water deficits persist. Scientists at the University of Edinburgh have determined that prolonged water shortages in tropical rainforests could kill off the tallest trees by causing the breakdown of the transport system that takes water from soil to the leaves.

Evident in the 3-month maps (below) for the same 12-month period is the forecast of a shift from deficit to surplus in northern South America primarily from March through May. (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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