South Asia: Intense deficits forecast for Madhya Pradesh & N Telangana

27 October 2017

The Big Picture
The 12-month forecast ending June 2018 indicates intense water deficits in India’s central states of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh trailing north into Uttarakhand, west along the Narmada River, east along the Mahanadi River, and south through Maharashtra into Telangana.

Deficits of equal intensity are forecast in western Karnataka, tracing east along the Tungabhadra River.

Exceptional surpluses are expected in Bangladesh, Tripura, Mizoram, and Manipur, and surpluses of varying intensity are forecast in Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir, West Bengal, western Bhutan, and Nepal.

Charges of police brutality were upheld after an inquiry by the state government of Madhya Pradesh, India into allegations that farmers protesting for drought relief and loan waivers were jailed, beaten, and stripped. Thirteen districts have since been declared drought-hit, including Tikamgarh, home of the jailed farmers, enabling farmers to receive crop loss compensation.

The drought has also affected Odisha, where drought declarations over 15 districts have elicited the promise of state assistance in the form of crop loss subsidies, loan adjustments, water rate waivers, tuition waivers, and employment under MGNREGA, the country's job guarantee program. Funding for MGNREGA, however, is short, pushing job-seekers into neighboring states.

Heavy rainfall caused renewed flooding in India's northeastern states of Assam, Tripura, and Manipur. Over 78,000 people were affected in Assam, 4,000 families left homeless in Tripura, and villages and paddy fields were submerged in Manipur.

In 2016, drought, storms and floods displaced over 24 million people within their own countries, according to a new study from the Norwegian Refugee Council’s Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre. The report estimates that 14 million people are at risk of displacement each year from extreme weather, a figure that does include people fleeing from drought and rising sea levels. Eight of the ten countries cited as at highest risk of internal displacement are in south and southeastern Asia.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees reports that nearly half a million Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since late August when violence erupted in Rakhine, Myanmar between the predominantly Muslim minority and Myanmar Buddhists and military. Incessant rain has flooded the refugee campsites, creating the threat of water-borne diseases like cholera, as humanitarian organizations attempt to provide the daily requirement of 59 million liters (15.6 million gallons) of clean water.

Forecast Breakdown
The 3-month composites (below) show the evolving conditions.

As seen in the map progression, the forecast for the region indicates the persistence of intense water deficits in India’s central state of Madhya Pradesh through June 2018. The near-term forecast, October through December, shows severe to exceptional deficits in the central states and trailing west along the Narmada River, with moderate deficits extending north through Himachal Pradesh. A small pocket of exceptional deficits is expected to persist in western Karnataka, and Gujarat will transition to conditions of both deficit and surplus as deficits emerge. Surpluses along the western Krishna River will begin to transition as deficits emerge, and some moderate surpluses will continue to emerge in states to the south. Exceptional surpluses will persist in Tripura, Mizoram, and Manipur, but surpluses are expected to recede in other states in the northeast and in West Bengal.

Exceptional surpluses are forecast to persist in Bangladesh, though the intensity will diminish somewhat in the west. Surpluses of varying severity remain in the forecast for Nepal and western Bhutan. Primarily moderate deficits are forecast for Pakistan and western Afghanistan, with both deficits and surpluses predicted in eastern Afghanistan.

From January through March little change is expected in surplus conditions in Bangladesh, northeastern India, Nepal, and Bhutan. As previously noted, severe to exceptional deficits will persist in central India, with deficits of generally lesser severity extending to the west, east, and south. However, intense deficits will persist in a pocket of western Karnataka. North of Madhya Pradesh deficits are expected to downgrade, becoming mild, as will deficits in Pakistan and most of Afghanistan. Some pockets of exceptional deficit are forecast to emerge during this period in eastern Afghanistan.

The forecast for the final period, April through June 2018, indicates an increase in the extent of exceptional deficits in Madhya Pradesh and the emergence of some surpluses in Gujarat.

(It should be noted that forecast skill declines with longer lead times.)

Note on Administrative Boundaries
There are numerous regions around the world where country borders are contested. ISciences depicts country boundaries on these maps solely to provide some geographic context. The boundaries are nominal, not legal, descriptions of each entity. The use of these boundaries does not imply any judgement on the legal status of any territory, or any endorsement or acceptance of disputed boundaries on the part of ISciences or our data providers.


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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