Exceptional water deficits are forecast to persist across northern South America, as seen in the 12-month map (below). Severe to exceptional surpluses are forecast for southern Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina, and are expected to increase in extent throughout the forecast period.

Mild, rainy weather in Argentina has created perfect breeding conditions for locustsThousands are infesting farmlands in Catamarca, Santiago del Estero, Tucuman and Córdoba, with some locust clouds reportedly more than four miles long and nearly two miles high. Prolonged drought elsewhere on the continent has had multiple impacts. In the arid highlands of Bolivia the country's second largest lake, Lake Poopó, has fully evaporated and scientists say it may take years to refill, if at all. The Venezuelan government has imposed nation-wide electricity rationing blaming warming trends of El Niño, while others cite over-exploitation of the Guri reservoir, currently at its lowest level since daily measurements first started in the 1950s. Food prices are rising in Colombia as drought affects supplies, the Cali River providing water to the densely populated cities of Cali and Medellin has dried up, and inflation is at its highest since 2008.

The sequence of 3-month maps (below) for the same 12-month period illustrates the conditions in more detail. Deficits in Colombia, Venezuela, and Guyana are forecast to moderate from February through May and, as seen in the February through April map, may include a transition from deficits to exceptional surpluses in portions of Venezuela. Thereafter, deficits are forecast to re-emerge as exceptional drought June through October.

(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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