15 March 2018

This map presents a selection of regions likely to encounter significant water anomalies during the one year period beginning in December 2017 and running through November 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 March 15, 2018 (pdf).

United States: Water surpluses will continue to emerge in southern Michigan and the Ohio River Valley. Exceptional surplus is expected on the Missouri River, western Montana, Idaho, and Washington. Intense deficits will continue in the West and Southwest. Moderate deficits are forecast for Oregon, Kansas, western Oklahoma, and most of Texas west of the Brazos River, with severe conditions in the Panhandle. Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi will transition out of deficit, with moderate surplus emerging in Arkansas into surrounding states. Deficits in the Mid-Atlantic States will shrink.

Canada: Widespread, intense water surpluses will emerge in southern British Columbia. Northern Quebec is expected to transition from surplus to normal conditions and moderate deficit. Nearly normal conditions will return to Northern Ontario’s Albany River region. Significant deficits are forecast along the Ontario/Quebec border corridor, surrounding Lake Mistassini QC, the Upper Athabasca Watershed of central Alberta, and surrounding Prince George, BC. Exceptional surpluses are forecast from Churchill Lake, SK to Fort McMurray, AB; and around Fort St. John in the Peace River Region of northeastern BC.

Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean: In the next few months water deficits in Baja, Mexico will remain intense, with exceptional deficits emerging in the south. Extreme to exceptional deficits are also forecast for Sonora, Sinaloa, Durango, Nayarit, along with deficits slightly less severe in Chihuahua. Surpluses of varying severity will continue to emerge in pockets of southern Mexico leading into northern Guatemala and Belize, where conditions may be extreme. Severe to exceptional surplus is forecast for Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Jamaica.

South America: Water deficits will diminish, returning many regions of Brazil to near-normal conditions. However, pockets of intense deficit are forecast for northern Amapá, Acre, Amazonas, Minas Gerais, Mato Grosso do Sul, São Paolo, and Rio Grande do Sul, as well as southern Venezuela, eastern Suriname, French Guiana, and the Gulf of Corcovado in Chile. Severe deficits are forecast for Uruguay and a large block in eastern Argentina. Areas of surplus include much of Paraguay, where conditions may be exceptional in the northwest, and pockets in Venezuela.

Europe: In the near-term through May, water surplus in Central and Eastern Europe and European Russia is expected to shrink and downgrade, though remain widespread. In France and the UK, however, surpluses will increase in extent. Exceptional deficits will continue to emerge in Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and a pocket in central Sweden. A band of deficit conditions will persist across southern Italy, but deficits on the Iberian Peninsula will shrink and downgrade – with some surplus conditions emerging. After May, the forecast indicates a transition away from surplus to mild deficit in many areas.

Africa: The forecast through May shows widespread, intense water deficits emerging across northern Africa. Liberia and the Horn of Africa will transition from deficit to near-normal conditions. In Gabon, deficits will downgrade but remain intense, while deficits in central and southern Africa downgrade to moderate. Deficits are also forecast for: Guinea Bissau, western Burkina Faso, northern Ghana, northern Ethiopia, eastern Central African Republic, and western and southern Madagascar. Surplus is forecast for Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, eastern South Sudan, southeastern Sudan, and southern Ethiopia.

Middle East: Exceptional water deficits are forecast to shrink, though deficits in the region will increase overall, emerging in Turkey, Yemen, and Oman. Exceptional deficits are expected in southern Iraq. Deficits will remain widespread in the bulk of Iran east of Tehran, with extreme conditions in southern Kerman Province. After May, deficits will emerge in eastern Turkey, joining those in the rest of the country, and moderate deficits will emerge throughout Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan.

Central Asia and Russia: Exceptional water surpluses in European Russia will shrink and downgrade. The Ob River Basin will transition from surplus to deficit, with a block of exceptional deficit in the Tobol River watershed south of the city of Tyumen. Intense surpluses are expected to persist around the city of Krasnoyarsk on the Yenisei River. Deficits will emerge in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, and exceptional deficits in the Fergana Valley, western Kyrgyzstan, and southern Tajikistan. Severe deficits are forecast Kazakhstan along the Ural River in the west leading into Orenburg, Russia.

South Asia: Through May, intense water deficits are forecast for India’s northern half, moderate deficits in the south, with exceptional conditions in Karnataka along the Tungabhadra River. Intense surpluses are forecast for Jammu and Kashmir, West Bengal, and the western Penner River Basin in India, as well as Bangladesh and Nepal. Surpluses of lesser severity are forecast for western Maharashtra. Intense deficits are forecast for Afghanistan and southern Pakistan. After May, deficits in India will be mild in the north, moderate in the south, and mild surpluses will emerge across the middle.

Southeast Asia and the Pacific: Cambodia continues to stand out through May in Southeast Asia with exceptional water deficit in the west. Surpluses are forecast for much of the rest of Southeast Asia, the Philippines, and Malaysia, and may be especially intense in western Myanmar, around the Gulf of Tonkin, central Philippines, and Brunei. Deficits will emerge in the southern tip of Sumatra and into Java, but are expected to nearly disappear in Papua New Guinea, persisting mainly around the Gulf of Papua. After May, surpluses in the region will retreat and Cambodia will return to near-normal conditions.

East Asia: Exceptional water deficits in Mongolia and into China will increase. Moderate deficits will continue to emerge in Northeast China and North Korea. Deficits in South Korea will downgrade, though severe conditions will persist around Seoul. In Southeast China, deficits will spread and upgrade in Fujian and Jiangxi, becoming severe, and moderate deficits will emerge along the Yangtze River. Exceptional deficits will increase in Hunan and Guizhou, and deficits in Yunnan will become extreme. Exceptional surplus will persist in the Han River watershed. Moderate surplus is forecast the Huai River.

Australia:  Mainland Australia is forecast to transition from widespread exceptional water deficit to mild conditions, with more intense deficits in Tasmania. Areas of moderate deficit include eastern South Australia, Victoria, the Murray-Darling Basin, and the east coast to Brisbane. Surpluses will persist in the Kimberly region, WA; shrink along the Victoria River and emerge in Arnhem Land, NT; re-emerge in northern Cape York Peninsula, QLD; and continue to emerge in the Mackenzie River area west of Rockhampton, QLD. Deficits in New Caledonia and New Zealand will moderate.

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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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