ISciences Worldwide Water Watch List July 2017

14 July 2017

This map presents a selection of regions likely to encounter significant water anomalies during the one year period beginning in April 2017 and running through March 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 July 14, 2017 (pdf).

United States: The near-term forecast through September shows a distribution pattern of water anomalies similar to the prior three months with some decrease in intensity. However, surpluses are forecast to increase in the central Gulf Coast. Beyond September water anomalies will continue to become less severe, though pockets of exceptional surplus will persist in Idaho and its neighbors. The forecast through March 2018 indicates the emergence of primarily moderate surpluses in many parts of the country.

Canada: Exceptional water surpluses in southern Ontario west of Toronto are forecast to persist through September, as are exceptional deficits in eastern Ontario and central Quebec. After September moderate drought conditions are expected to persist in northwest Ontario, northern Manitoba, and northern British Columbia. Recent exceptional surplus conditions in Manitoba west of Lake Winnipeg, and in northwestern Saskatchewan into Alberta are expected to continue throughout the forecast period into early 2018.

Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean: Recent severe water deficits across Mexico and western Cuba are expected to diminish in the next few months, shifting toward the south and bringing moderate deficit conditions to Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and western Nicaragua by October. Surplus conditions in southern Nicaragua and northern Costa Rica are forecast to subside after September.

South America: Recently observed conditions across the whole of South America are expected to persist through September with a slight decrease in the extent of exceptional water deficits in much of Brazil north of Rio de Janeiro. Surpluses in eastern Paraguay and southern Brazil should transition to near-normal conditions during this period, but exceptional surpluses are expected to persist in La Pampa and Buenos Aires Provinces in Argentina. After September conditions are forecast to improve across the continent though exceptional water deficits will persist in Amapá and northern Pará, Brazil and in nearby northern regions.

Europe: Water deficits will continue to dominate much of Europe through September but will diminish significantly thereafter. Through September, however, exceptional deficits will persist in Finland, Estonia, and many pockets of Western and Central Europe. Severe to exceptional deficits are expected along many rivers including the Danube, the Drava, the Rhine, the Rhône, and the Loire. Surpluses in Western Russia will persist through September but diminish in extent and severity except in Murmansk, where exceptional surpluses will continue to emerge. Exceptional surpluses are forecast for eastern Romania and Moldova which will persist through December.

Africa: The extent of exceptional water deficits is expected to diminish considerably after September, though deficits of varying severity will remain in the forecast and will likely be more severe in the northern half of the continent. In the near-term, July through September, severe to exceptional deficits are forecast in the desert regions of the northern nations, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, northern Niger, and northern Sudan; and also in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. Exceptional deficits will retreat in southern Namibia during this period but will emerge in the northeastern portion of the country, eastward into neighboring Botswana and across the border into South Africa. Exceptional surpluses are forecast to continue in eastern Tanzania though September but will retreat to the coast by December.

Middle East: Widespread intense water deficits are forecast for the Arabian Peninsula through September, gradually diminishing in extent and severity thereafter. From July through September exceptional deficits will persist across central Saudi Arabia, in southern Iraq, and in Lebanon, and severe to extreme deficits are forecast for Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Iraq west of the Euphrates, and North Khorasan, Iran. Surpluses in Fars and near Tehran, Iran will transition to conditions of both deficit and surplus, receding by early next year. Surpluses along the northern Iran/Iraq border will persist through December, and a pocket of exceptional surplus in central Oman will persist through March 2018.

Central Asia and Russia:  In Russia large pockets of exceptional surplus conditions are forecast for the Volga River Basin and from the Lower Ob River to the Tom River, persisting through March 2018. Deficits will continue to emerge in much of eastern Russia through March, though they are not expected to reach exceptional severity beyond September. Moderate to severe surpluses will emerge from the Ural Mountains to the western edge of the Central Siberian Plateau from October through March. Surpluses will persist in many parts of Kazakhstan and throughout Kyrgyzstan. Moderate to severe deficits are forecast for Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan through December, diminishing thereafter.

South Asia: The forecast through September indicates the emergence of moderate to extreme water deficits throughout much of India, which may be most intense from Madhya Pradesh to Odisha, and from southern Maharashtra down through Karnataka into Tamil Nadu. Severe to exceptional deficits are expected to persist in southwestern Afghanistan. Surpluses are forecast east of Kabul, Afghanistan, along the Indus River north of Islamabad, northeastern Jammu and Kashmir, along the Gandaki River in Nepal, and in Bangladesh. From October through December primarily moderate deficits are forecast for India’s northern half, and near-normal conditions in the south. In early 2018 intense deficits may develop in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.

Southeast Asia and the Pacific: The July through September forecast shows the near absence of widespread surpluses observed in prior months. However, exceptional surpluses are forecast for western Myanmar; northern Prachuap Khiri Khan Province, Thailand; the extreme southeastern region of Sulawesi; and Flores Island in Indonesia. Severe to exceptional deficits are indicated in much of Cambodia, in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, and in central Papua New Guinea. In the October-December timeframe moderate deficits are indicated in many parts of the region, and thereafter deficits in Southeast Asia may intensity.

East Asia: Recent widespread exceptional deficits in Mongolia into northeastern China, around the Bohai Sea, and on the Korean Peninsula are forecast to moderate. Severe to exceptional deficits will persist in western Inner Mongolia through early 2018, joined by a broad band of intense deficits that will develop across southern Mongolia westward through central Xinjiang from September on. Moderate to severe deficits will emerge July through September in northeast China, trailing southwest into eastern Sichuan, and in southern Yunnan. Severe to exceptional surpluses are forecast for the southern Yangtze River Basin through September, moderating thereafter.

Australia:  Widespread exceptional water deficits from Northern Territory into Queensland are expected to dissipate. However, intense deficit conditions will persist through September in the southwestern extents of Western Australia, Darwin, Tasmania, coastal Victoria into New South Wales, and New Caledonia, and may persist into early 2018 from Perth south. Observed surpluses in the northwest and eastern Queensland will moderate but persist through December.


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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