The Big Picture
Water deficits are forecast to persist on the Baja Peninsula and will continue to emerge in southern Mexico with exceptional severity as shown in the 12-month map (below). Surpluses are forecast along the Rio Grande River and in a wide path from Sonora southward. Surpluses in central Cuba are forecast to persist through the spring months. Overall for the year moderate deficits are expected in Guatemala and Honduras, though more severe deficits are forecast throughout Central America in the latter months of the forecast period.

In drought-stricken southern Mexico, the ruins of an ancient Dominican church have emerged from the reservoir near Jalapa del Marqués, Oaxaca as waters receded to 40% of capacity creating hardship for fisherman and farmers. It's the latest in a series of architectural "rebirths" from the watery depths of Mexican reservoirs over the last few months of drought. Added to drought-driven regional water stress, residents of San Fermin, Veracruz awoke in early March to discover that the Atoyac River, sole source of water for 10,000 people, had disappeared in a sinkhole. In the state of Guerrero, only 15,000 of the 70,000 farmers who lost crops to drought will receive catastrophic agricultural insurance payments due to stringent requirements of state-contracted insurer, Mapfre, prompting the Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock and Rural Development to request bids from other insurers for the current year.

Forecast Breakdown
The 3-month maps (below) for the same time period shows the evolving conditions in more detail. The March through May map shows the emergence of water surpluses along the Rio Grande and in the Yucatan. Exceptional deficits cover much of the Baja Peninsula and coastal Sonora, and pepper southern Mexico. The emergence of severe to exceptional water surpluses throughout the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountain range in western Mexico is evident in the June through August map, along with the spread of drought in the south and into Central America. Deficits are also forecast for Haiti.

By the end of the forecast period – September through November – moderate to exceptional (5-40 year return period) water deficits are forecast throughout southern Mexico, most of Central America, and Jamaica. (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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