ISciences Worldwide Water Watch List February 2017

15 February 2017

This map presents a selection of regions likely to encounter significant water anomalies during the one year period beginning in November 2016 and running through October 2017 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 February 15, 2017 (pdf).

United States and Canada: From February through April the extent of exceptional water deficits in the US from the Ohio River Valley to the Gulf is expected to recede but exceptional deficits will persist in eastern Oklahoma, northern Arkansas, Missouri, and west-central Illinois. Widespread surpluses will continue to emerge in the West with particular intensity in Idaho and northern Nevada. Moderate to isolated pockets of exceptional surplus are forecast for much of California, particularly Central California. Beyond April exceptional deficits will disappear in the contiguous US but will remain in the forecast for parts of Alaska. Moderate deficits will emerge throughout Pennsylvania and in Connecticut. Surpluses in the West are expected to diminish in extent and severity except in Idaho and northern Nevada.

In Canada the forecast through April indicates water deficits in: central Quebec and along the southern shared border of Ontario and Quebec; Northumberland County, New Brunswick; southern Newfoundland; northeastern Manitoba along Hudson Bay; northwestern British Columbia and central BC near Prince George; northwestern and central Alberta; northeastern Saskatchewan into northern Manitoba; and northwestern Ontario. Surpluses are forecast around the southern shore of James Bay and west into Ontario; west of Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba; surrounding Lake Churchill Saskatchewan; and scattered throughout southern British Columbia.  After April predominantly deficit conditions are forecast.

Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean: Water deficits are forecast to emerge throughout Mexico from February through April with a vast expanse of predominantly severe deficits across northern Mexico including the Baja Peninsula, and pockets of extreme to exceptional deficits in the southern states. Deficits are also forecast for southern Guatemala, Jamaica, eastern Cuba, eastern Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. Surpluses are forecast in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, eastern Panama, and Haiti. From May through July the overall intensity of deficits in the region is expected to diminish in severity, as will the extent of surpluses.

South America: Though the extent of water deficits in South America is expected to shrink overall February through April, severe to exceptional deficits are forecast in central Brazil as well as pockets in some western states. Deficits in Bolivia are forecast to shrink in extent but large pockets will persist, and the extent of deficits in Chile will shrink slightly. Surpluses will continue to emerge in central and northeastern Argentina; Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil; northern Peru; and eastern Colombia. From May through June deficits will persist in eastern Brazil but much of the Amazon Basin will transition to near-normal. Deficits along Peru’s coast will increase in intensity, becoming exceptional.

Europe: From February through April deficits will persist in much of Western Europe and Scandinavia, will spread on the Iberian Peninsula and in Italy, and will emerge in eastern Czech Republic, western Slovakia, and Hungary. Surpluses will continue to emerge in Belarus, Ukraine, northeastern Romania, and in a vast expanse of western European Russia. The UK and Ireland are expected to transition from deficit to near-normal conditions. After May the forecast indicates a retreat of surpluses and the continued emergence of deficits throughout Europe.

Africa: The extent of exceptional deficits across the continent will diminish through April, but moderate to extreme deficits will persist across northern Africa and across Africa’s mid-section from Gabon to southern Somalia. Deficits will diminish considerably in Madagascar though persist in the south. Surpluses are forecast in the Okavango Delta in northern Botswana, southern Zambia, Zimbabwe, and western Mozambique. The forecast for May through July indicates a downgrade in the intensity of deficits in the southern Sahel and an increase in the intensity of deficits across northern Africa where extreme to exceptional deficits are expected to emerge in eastern Algeria, northern Niger, Libya, Egypt, and northern Sudan.

Middle East: The overall progression of water anomalies forecast through October 2017 indicates that widespread water deficits will persist throughout the Middle East, first diminishing in severity through April – with a significant reduction in the extent of exceptional deficits – before increasing in both extent and severity thereafter, particularly on the Arabian Peninsula, southern Iraq, and Iran.

Central Asia and Russia: Drier than normal conditions will persist in many parts of northern Russia from the White Sea through the Central Siberian Plateau. Surpluses will continue to emerge in northwestern Kazakhstan, down the middle of Kazakhstan through the Karagandy Region, and in Kyrgyzstan. From May through July deficits will increase southwest of Russia’s Yamal Peninsula, exceptional surpluses will emerge between the Irtysh and Yenisei Rivers, and moderate deficits will emerge in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

South Asia: Though the extent of exceptional deficits in southern India is forecast to diminish February through April, deficits will emerge across the country’s mid-section in places which, in the prior three months, had seen normal or surplus water conditions. Exceptional deficits are forecast for Gujarat and northeast India; and in Karachi, Pakistan. Surpluses are forecast along major rivers in northeastern Pakistan, throughout Afghanistan, and in eastern Nepal. From May through July deficits in India will diminish considerably in severity except in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. Surpluses will continue to emerge in Afghanistan and may be exceptional in the Upper Helmand Basin.

Southeast Asia and the Pacific: The forecast through April indicates the beginning of a transition from surplus to deficit, after which deficits of varying intensity will prevail. Through April surpluses are forecast for Vietnam, the Malay Peninsula, the Philippines, and North Sumatra, Indonesia. Exceptional deficits will persist in Cambodia, while Thailand can expect deficits in the north and surpluses in the south. Java is expected to transition from surplus to deficit. Deficits will emerge in central Borneo and will persist in Papua New Guinea. After April deficits are forecast for most of the region, and may be more severe and widespread in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea.

East Asia: Water conditions observed in the region through November and forecast through April are characterized by exceptional anomalies, both surpluses and deficits, while the forecast for the latter six months of the 12-month forecast (May through October) shows a decrease in the intensity of anomalies. From February through April surpluses are forecast from Shanghai through northern Hunan. Extreme to exceptional deficits are forecast for southern Mongolia, western Inner Mongolia (China), eastern Yunnan, and northern Taiwan. Moderate deficits are expected in Ningxia, southern Shaanxi, Gansu, eastern Sichuan, the Liaodong Peninsula, eastern Guangxi, and Guangdong. Both deficits and surpluses reaching exceptional intensity will continue to emerge in China’s western half.

Australia: From February through April moderate to exceptional deficits are forecast for much of Queensland. Primarily moderate deficits are forecast for New South Wales and southern Victoria. Moderate to severe deficits are expected to persist in North Island, New Zealand. Surpluses in the northern part of Western Australia and into the Victoria River Basin of Northern Territory are expected to diminish in severity. The forecast after April looks less eventful with moderate deficits tracing a path from Northern Territory’s Top End down along the eastern coast through New South Wales.


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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