ISciences Worldwide Water Watch List December 2017

15 December 2017

This map presents a selection of regions likely to encounter significant water anomalies during the one year period beginning in September 2017 and running through August 2018 using 3 months of observed temperature and precipitation data and 9 months of forecast data.

The synopsis that follows provides highlights of regional water forecasts. Regional details are available in ISciences Global Water Monitor & Forecast Watch List December 15, 2017 (pdf).

United States: The near-term forecast indicates exceptional deficits in the Lower Mississippi Valley and deficits nearly as intense through the South Atlantic States. Widespread moderate deficits are forecast from southern California through eastern Texas, with severe deficits near Houston. Moderate surpluses are forecast in the Great Lakes, and intense surpluses are forecast for eastern Nebraska, central Minnesota, and southeastern Idaho. After February deficits in the Lower Mississippi Valley and the South Atlantic State will moderate, deficits will spread in California, and widespread surpluses will emerge in the Northwest and along the Columbia, Missouri, and Yellowstone Rivers.

Canada: Widespread water surpluses will continue to emerge in northeastern Quebec and surpluses are also forecast for central Ontario, west of Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba, near Churchill Lake in Saskatchewan, and the central border of Alberta and British Columbia. Exceptional surpluses are forecast around Kelowna, BC. Significant areas of deficit include: the Ontario/Quebec border; from Calgary, Alberta northeast and from Banff into British Columbia; and, Prince George, BC. After February, surpluses in Quebec and Ontario will normalize, widespread surpluses are expected in southern BC, and moderate deficits will emerge from Lake Superior eastward past Montreal.

Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean: Intense water surpluses are forecast to persist through May in Honduras, Nicaragua, northern Costa Rica, and Jamaica. In the near-term, exceptional deficits across northwestern Mexico will moderate but severe deficits will emerge further south coast-to-coast from Jalisco through Veracruz and also in Oaxaca. Deficits in western Cuba will moderate. After February intense deficits will emerge in southern Baja and Nayarit, Mexico but much of southern Mexico will return to nearly normal water conditions with scattered pockets of surplus.

South America: Exceptional water deficits are forecast to diminish considerably over the next three months except in the western Amazon Basin in Brazil and Acre, Rondônia, Mato Grosso, and Tocantins. Deficits are also expected across Brazil’s Northeast region. Elsewhere on the continent, intense deficits are expected in western Bolivia and the Gulf of Corcovado, Chile. Areas of surplus include central Colombia; Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil; and La Pampa Province, Argentina. After February widespread surpluses will emerge in the northern Amazon Basin and Venezuela, Guyana, and Suriname.

Europe: The extent of exceptional water deficits will diminish considerably through February in Southern Europe leaving primarily moderate deficits on the Iberian Peninsula, France, and Italy, with more intense deficits in southeastern France. Exceptional surpluses will continue to emerge in western European Russia and Poland and will emerge in Belarus. Surpluses of varying severity will emerge in greater extent in Central and Eastern Europe. After February the extent and intensity of surpluses in Russia, Central, and Eastern Europe will diminish but surpluses will remain intense in central Poland.

Africa: The near-term forecast indicates continued improvement in water conditions in southern Africa as exceptional deficits nearly disappear. Intense deficits are, however, expected in Lesotho. Deficits are forecast across northern Africa including pockets of exceptional deficit in western Mauritania through Guinea-Bissau, scattered around the Gulf of Guinea, small pockets across the southern Sahara, and in southeastern Ethiopia. Surpluses are expected in southern Sudan, South Sudan, western Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, western DRC, and western CAR into Cameroon. After February intense deficits will emerge in the north.

Middle East: Widespread exceptional deficits observed in the prior three months are expected to moderate considerably through February, though extreme deficits are in the forecast for Lebanon and Israel. Deficits of slightly lesser intensity, but still severe, are forecast for southeastern Turkey, Syria, pockets throughout Iraq, central Iran, northern Saudi Arabia, and southwestern Yemen. Primarily moderate deficits are forecast nearly everywhere else. After February, deficits on the Arabian Peninsula are expected to ratchet up in intensity, and moderate deficits will continue to emerge in Turkey.

Central Asia and Russia: In the near-term, surpluses are forecast in Russia along the Sukona River; the Upper Volga River, Volga Uplands, Lower Volga, and Transvolga Region; and the Ob, Vakh, and Tom Rivers. Deficits will persist in the Yamal Peninsula and across the Gulf of Ob. Exceptional surpluses will continue to emerge in Aktobe, Kostanay, and western Akmola Regions in Kazakhstan but widespread intense deficits will emerge in the northeastern part of the country. Deficits in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are expected to moderate. After February, deficits will spread in Central Asia and Russia.

South Asia: Through May 2018 intense water deficits are forecast in central India and intense water surpluses in Bangladesh. In the near-term through February, deficits are forecast throughout most of India with exceptional deficits expected in eastern Gujarat and Karnataka. Exceptional surpluses are expected in West Bengal, Tripura, Mizoram, eastern Jammu and Kashmir, and the Pennar River Basin in southern India. Moderate deficits are forecast for Pakistan and Afghanistan with some pockets of exceptional deficit in the northeast. Surpluses are forecast for western Bhutan and much of Nepal.

Southeast Asia and the Pacific: The forecast over the next six months indicates a gradual transition from predominantly surplus conditions to deficit, though western Cambodia and Papua New Guinea stand in contrast with current deficit conditions persisting throughout the period. In the near-term through February surpluses will diminish in Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, and Papua, but will persist in Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam. After February deficits will emerge throughout Malaysia and Indonesia, diminish in western Cambodia, and moderate in Papua New Guinea.  

East Asia: The near-term forecast shows a vast stretch of exceptional water deficits from southern Mongolia into Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia, China. Intense deficits are expected to emerge in Shandong, China, and will continue to emerge in South Korea. Less severe deficits are forecast for southeastern China and western Taiwan. Surpluses in the Han (Hanjiang) and Huai River watersheds will remain widespread and exceptional. Surpluses are also forecast for Shanghai, the eastern stretch of the Ordos Loop of the Yellow (Huang) River, northern Sichuan, Qinghai, central Tibet, and Hainan.

Australia:  Exceptional deficits observed in recent months in Australia are forecast to nearly disappear, though intense deficits will persist in Tasmania through February and the southwestern tip of Western Australia through May. The near-term forecast includes deficits along Australia’s southeastern coast and in eastern New South Wales, and exceptional surpluses near Bundaberg, Queensland. After February surpluses near Bundaberg will recede and deficits will continue to emerge in the southwestern tip of WA; from the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia through Victoria; Tasmania; and New Zealand. 


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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