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 northeast Inner Mongolia, and both deficits and surpluses are forecast in western regions of China including the Tibetan Plateau. Deficits are forecast for Honshu, Japan.

This year's flood season in China, which started in March, has produced the heaviest rainfall in 43 years, an increase of 22 percent over last year according to the National Climate Center. Over 130 rivers in the south have reached flood warning levels and the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze are showing increases of 34 percent over prior years.

Early June flooding and landslides in Jiangxi, Hunan, Guizhou, Guangdong, and Guangxi Zhuang resulted in 13 people dead, 13 missing, mass evacuations and relocations, extensive damage to homes and cropland, power, traffic, and telecommunications disruptions, and economic losses of 147 million yuan (US $19 million). 

Drought in northern China's Hebei Province has depleted water levels in Panjiakou Reservoir, revealing a section of the Great Wall of China that had been submerged for nearly 40 years.

Forecast Breakdown
Water surpluses are expected to persist in many provinces of China along the Yangtze River and south, as seen in the 3-month maps below, though the severity will be moderate (5 to 10 year frequency of occurrence) to severe (10 to 20 year) rather than exceptional (greater than 40 years), as it has been in the past three months. Severe surpluses are forecast along the Yellow River in June. In July moderate to severe surpluses are forecast to emerge north of the Yangtze River in southern Henan and eastward which may persist through October. Deficits are forecast in Hainan June through August.

The extent and severity of surpluses across southeast China will diminish through November and begin to transition to predominately moderate deficits which will also affect Taiwan. Moderate deficits will continue to emerge in the eastern Tibetan Plateau from September on.

In eastern and southern Mongolia and northeastern Inner Mongolia moderate deficits will persist through August.

Moderate to severe deficits are forecast in Hokkaido, central Honshu, and Shikoku, Japan from June through August, and deficits may continue to emerge in some areas of Japan through February.

(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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