Southeast Asia & the Pacific: Exceptional water deficits to persist in Cambodia

September 22, 2016

The Big Picture
As seen in the 12-month map (below), water deficits are forecast for Thailand, Cambodia, the Malay Peninsula, northeastern Borneo, central Philippines, and eastern Papua New Guinea. Greatest severity and extent is expected to be in Cambodia. Water surpluses are forecast for southern Laos into central Vietnam, the western tip of Borneo, parts of Java, western Flores Island, and West Papua, Indonesia.

Heavy rains caused flooding and landslides in Java, Indonesia that killed 20 people, injured 30, and forced the evacuation of 1,000. Flooding was also reported in northern provinces of Laos and Vietnam, resulting in 6 deaths. Two hours of continuous rain rendered some intersections in Metro Manila, Philippines impassible to small vehicles.

After two seasons of drought many small-scale farmers in Cambodia are finding themselves caught in a cycle of debt to multiple micro-lenders, borrowing from one to pay another. And with paddy production down, many of the country's rice producers and millers are anxiously awaiting promised government loans from the Rural Development Bank totaling $20 to $30 million.

A massive humanitarian food distribution program to benefit hundreds of thousands of people in drought-stricken Papua New Guinea is set to end this month.

Forecast Breakdown
The 3-month maps (below) show the evolving conditions in more detail.

Exceptional (greater than 40 years) deficits are forecast to persist in Cambodia through May. From September through November moderate (5 to 10 years) water deficits will continue to emerge in Thailand, and moderate to extreme (20 to 40 years) deficits will continue to emerge in the eastern half of Luzon, Philippines. Deficits are forecast to recede in eastern Papua New Guinea. Exceptional surpluses are forecast in Laos and in western Flores Island. Moderate to isolated areas of extreme surpluses are expected in Vietnam; southern Sumatra, Java, North Kalimantan, and West Papua, Indonesia; and, northern Luzon, Philippines.

By December much of Southeast Asia and the Pacific will begin to transition to conditions of water deficit. Moderate deficits will continue to emerge in Thailand and will emerge in parts of Vietnam, on the island of Borneo, throughout the Philippines, and in Papua New Guinea. Severe to exceptional deficits will emerge on southern Luzon, the Malay Peninsula, and Sumatra. Both deficits and surpluses are forecast for much of Laos.

The forecast for the latter three months – March through May – indicate conditions similar to the prior three months with deficits of varying severity continuing to emerge throughout the region.

(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.

For more information contact

Copyright 2019 ISCIENCES, L.L.C. Global Water Monitor & Forecast Watch List is the property of ISCIENCES, L.L.C. It is protected by U.S. copyright laws and may not be reproduced in any way without the written permission of ISCIENCES, L.L.C. The user assumes the entire risk related to its use of information on ISCIENCES, L.L.C. Web pages, including information derived from Water Security Indicators Model (WSIM). This information may include forecasts, projections and other predictive statements that represent ISCIENCES, L.L.C.’s assumptions and expectations in light of currently available information and using the highest professional standards. Actual results may differ from those projected. Consequently, no guarantee is presented or implied as to the accuracy of specific forecasts, projections or predictive statements contained herein. ISCIENCES, L.L.C. provides such information "as is," and disclaims any and all warranties, whether express or implied, including (without limitation) any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. In no event will ISCIENCES, L.L.C. be liable to you or to any third party for any direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, special or exemplary damages or lost profit resulting from any use or misuse of this data.