The Big Picture
Widespread moderate to exceptional water surpluses are forecast to persist in southeast China, as depicted in the 12-month map below. Moderate deficits are forecast in Mongolia, and both deficits and surpluses are forecast in western regions of China including the Tibetan Plateau.

Rainwater poured down subway steps, covered the feet of bus riders, and stopped traffic as storms hit Guangzhou, Guangdong province China in early May. In Jingjiang City, Fujian manhole covers floated awayand 34 people were missing in Taining County, Fujian in heavy downpours that triggered a landslide after 191.6 millimeters of rain fell in 24 hours. The world's largest hydropower project, Three Gorges Reservoir on China's Yangtze River, recorded inflow of 17,800 cubic meters per second, the highest since 1992

The State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters reports that as of May 13 flooding has killed 59 people, affected 5.85 million in nine provincial regions in South China, and caused direct economic losses of 8.86 billion yuan ($1.36 billion).

A report published recently in the medical journal Lancet cites drowning as the leading cause of teenage death in China.

Forecast Breakdown
Moderate to exceptional surpluses are expected to persist in many provinces in China from the Yangtze River south in May, though the extent of exceptional surpluses in the south will diminish. Surpluses are also forecast along the Yellow River beginning in May, which may become extreme (once in 20-40 year expected frequency) in June. In July moderate to exceptional surpluses are forecast to emerge between the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers in Henan, Hubei, and eastward; and, moderate to severe surpluses may persist in this region through January. As the 3-month maps below illustrate surpluses are forecast to persist in southeast China for the next few months with the exception of Hainan which will remain in deficit. Deficits will emerge in coastal Guangdong in July and August. A transition to moderate deficits across the southeast is forecast from November on.

Moderate to extreme deficits will persist in eastern and southern Mongolia through July, though both deficits and surpluses are forecast in some areas.

Severe deficits are forecast to emerge in Hokkaido, Japan in May, and moderate surpluses will persist in southern Honshu.

(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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