South Asia: Water deficits forecast in India, esp Odisha; surpluses in Bangladesh

The Big Picture
As the 12-month map (below) shows, water deficits are forecast for much of India, Pakistan, and western Afghanistan while surpluses are expected throughout Bangladesh, in central Nepal, Jammu and Kashmir, eastern Afghanistan, and western Sri Lanka.

The Ganges River is close to flood levels, according to a Times of India Irrigation Department official. Warnings have been issued to villagers on the banks.

Nearly 300 villages were submerged in flooding along the Brahmaputra River and its tributaries in Assam, India, along with 16,240 hectares of crop land. The Assam State District Management Authority estimates that 188,000 people have been affected in six districts.

Seventeen people died in flooding in Khost, Afghanistan, and 43 died in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Pakistan near the Afghan border.

Drought continues to afflict at least seven states in India. At the end of June reservoir levels remained below average in Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Telangana, and below 10 percent capacity in Telangana (2 percent), Maharashtra (5.6 percent), Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka (9.5 percent).

Forecast Breakdown
The 3-month composites (below) show the evolving conditions. Moderate (5 to 10 year expected frequency) to exceptional deficits (greater than 40 years) are forecast to persist in Odisha, India, as seen in the July through September map. July is expected to be especially dry in much of the southern half of India from Maharashtra south, with widespread severe (10 to 20 years) to extreme deficits (20 to 40 years) expected. Moderate to extreme surpluses are expected in the Ganges Basin in July. Exceptional surpluses are forecast along the northern Indus through Punjab, Pakistan in July and August. Deficits are forecast to begin emerging in Bhutan, northeastern Indian states, and Myanmar in August and continue to emerge through March.

From October through November both deficits and surpluses in South Asia are forecast to diminish in severity though overall conditions will remain drier than normal. Conditions will worsen in India in December as widespread abnormal water deficits elevate to moderate or, in parts of the Thar Desert, severe.

The January through March forecast indicates widespread moderate to extreme deficits throughout India with both deficits and surpluses in Gujarat and western Maharashtra.

(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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