Watching: United States and Canada; Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean; South America; Europe; Africa; Middle East; Central Asia and Russia; South Asia; East Asia; Southeast Asia and the Pacific; Australia.

This map presents a selection of regions likely to encounter significant water anomalies during the one year period beginning in February 2016 and running through January 2017 using 3 months of observed temperature and precipitation data and 9 months of forecast data.

Regional details are available in ISciences' Global Water Monitor & Forecast May 13, 2016 (pdf).

United States and Canada: The overall outlook for much of the United States indicates only moderate water anomalies for much of the country. However the forecast for May through July includes the emergence of some severe deficits in the Northeast, along the East Coast, and in the Upper Midwest which will persist through October. Exceptional water deficits will also persist in much of southern California and southwestern Arizona. Severe to exceptional surpluses are forecast in northeastern Nevada and across the border into Idaho, eastern Texas, parts of Nebraska, scattered pockets in the Northwest, south-central Alaska, and the western half of the island of Hawaii.

The outlook for Canada indicates widespread water deficits of varying severity across the country with pockets of exceptional deficits in parts of British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and Newfoundland.

Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean: Overall much of Mexico will experience drier than normal conditions. However, exceptional deficits in Baja and across the Gulf of California observed for the past three months are forecast to diminish in the months ahead. From August through October deficits will increase in severity in the state of Veracruz in a wide inland arc from the Gulf of Mexico. Deficits are also forecast during this period for eastern Jamaica and in Haiti. Moderate deficits are forecast to emerge in Guatemala and El Salvador.

South America: The forecast continues to indicate widespread and in many areas exceptional water deficits across the north, particularly in the Amazon Basin. Water surpluses are forecast May through July in Venezuela’s Orinoco and Caroni River Basins and in much of Guyana. Water surpluses will persist in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil; Uruguay; and central Argentina. 

Europe: Water deficits will persist in parts of Mediterranean Europe including southern Spain and Portugal, Sardinia, Sicily, southern Greece, and Crete. Surpluses will persist in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Central and Eastern Europe are transitioning from surplus to deficits. Exceptional deficits are forecast for Finland and the Baltics.

Africa: Water deficits across North Africa are forecast to persist though diminish in severity. Deficits will also persist across much of southern Africa, especially South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique. Surpluses are expected in northern Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, and Ethiopia.

Middle East: Water deficits are forecast in southern Turkey, Cyprus, Gaza, West Bank, Israel, Qatar, and United Arab Emirates. Surpluses are expected to persist along the Iraq-Iran border and in a few pockets on Oman’s coast. Both deficits and surpluses are forecast in Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. Exceptional deficits will emerge in May in Qatar and United Arab Emirates, persisting with varying extent and severity through October.

Central Asia and Russia: Exceptional water surpluses are forecast in north central Kazakhstan; farther west between the Ural and Emba Rivers northeast of the Caspian Sea; and, along rivers elsewhere in Kazakhstan. Exceptional surpluses are also forecast in Russia in an area northwest of Kazakhstan, from the Volga River through the Ural Mountains. Water deficits are expected in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, western Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

South Asia: The forecast indicates a transition in India from widespread and exceptional water deficits throughout the country to surpluses in India’s western midsection, in the Ganges Basin, and near Chennai. Surpluses are also forecast in India’s northernmost states and in much of Bangladesh. In general, water surpluses are forecast for eastern Afghanistan and deficits in the west. Deficits are expected to persist in southern Pakistan, and both deficits and surpluses are expected in the north.

Southeast Asia and the Pacific: Water deficits in the region are forecast to persist with particular severity in Thailand and Malaysia through January 2017. Surpluses dominate the forecast for southern Borneo and West Java. Deficits are forecast on the island of Timor from June through October and may be widespread and exceptional July through September.

East Asia: Widespread moderate to exceptional water surpluses are forecast to persist in southeast China and the Yangtze River. Surpluses are also forecast along the Yellow River beginning in May, which may become extreme in June. A transition to moderate deficits is forecast for southeast China in the later months. Moderate deficits are forecast in Mongolia, and both deficits and surpluses are forecast in western regions of China including the Tibetan Plateau.

Australia: Water deficits are forecast to linger for the next six months across parts of northern Australia – particularly Arnhem Land and along the Gulf of Carpentaria – and also from Perth southward; in Tasmania; on North Island, New Zealand; and in New Caledonia. A transition from moderate deficits to moderate surpluses in the Darling and Murray Rivers and their tributaries is forecast from August on.


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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