Central Asia & Russia: Water surpluses forecast for Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan

26 June 2017

The Big Picture
The 12-month forecast for the region indicates deficits with areas of exceptional conditions stretching across the Siberian Plateau and some regions of eastern Russia to the Kamchatka Peninsula. Moderate deficits are forecast for Turkmenistan extending into Uzbekistan.

Pockets of surplus conditions are forecast across the region including the upper Ob and the Volga River Basins in Russia. Extreme surpluses are indicated in northern, western, and southern Kazakhstan, as well as Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. 

Massive snowmelt contributed to the collapse of a dam in Ishim, Russia, flooding the city in mid-May and the surrounding region of Tyumen along the Ishim River. Over 1,000 families were affected, 130 houses damaged, and 41 houses destroyed. Authorities evacuated nearly 500 people in Ishim, Vikulovsky, and Abatsky.

Flooding also inundated 1,000 homes in Stavropol, Russia after heavy rains hit 18 settlements, forcing evacuation of 3,600 people. The water level of the River Kuma doubled, destroying a dam in Grazhdanskoye and washing out another in Suvorovka. A state of emergency was declared, and 2,500 rescue personnel and 400 vehicles deployed. The regional governor offered assurances of property compensation totaling 500,000,000 rubles (~US$8.9 million).

Three people have died in multiple wildfires raging through Siberia, aided by dry conditions and temperatures reaching 37°C (98.6°F). Fires were reported in Irkutsk, and a state of emergency was declared in Krasnoyarsk and Zabaikalsky regions. Over 2,000 personnel were working to contain 74 wildfires that engulfed 54,000 hectares (133,437 acres) and destroyed hundreds of homes.

Forecast Breakdown
The 3-month composites (below) for the same 12-month period show the evolving conditions in more detail.

The near-term forecast (June through August) depicts a moderation of widespread deficits in northern Russia with conditions along the Ob River expected to flip to surpluses. Deficits are expected to continue in northern Krasnoyarsk Krai and to develop in Turkmenistan extending into Uzbekistan. Pockets of exceptional surplus conditions are expected across central Russia with a particular focus in the Kazan and Ufa region, and an area extending from Novosibirsk to Krasnoyarsk. Northern and central Kazakhstan may also experience exceptional surpluses extending from Aktobe to Petropavl, northeast of Astana, and in the region of Karagandy. In southern Kazakhstan, surpluses are indicated for Lake Balkhash and regions extending to its west.

During the September through November and extending into the December to February 2018 forecast period, deficits in northern Krasnoyarsk Krai are expected to continue. The period also indicates an intensification of moderate deficits in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. In Kazakhstan, with the exception of the surpluses forecast for the Aktobe to Petropavl region, most of the surplus regions across the north are expected to flip to deficits, with the former region also flipping in the final forecast period. In the south near Lake Balkhash surplus conditions should persist into the final forecast period.

(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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