16 April 2018


This map presents a selection of regions likely to encounter significant water anomalies during the one year period beginning in January 2018 and running through December 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 April 16, 2018 (pdf).

United States: The forecast through June indicates that deficits will diminish and downgrade in the South Atlantic States, retreat considerably in the Gulf States, downgrade to moderate in the Southern Plains States, persist with intensity in the Southwest, and shrink in central California. Surpluses are forecast for Idaho, Montana, western Wyoming, Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa, Missouri, and along the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers. Surpluses will be exceptional in Idaho and Montana. Surpluses in the Ohio River Valley will diminish. After June, anomalies will downgrade, but persist.

Canada: Water deficits are forecast for much of the eastern half of the country and will increase on the Ontario/Quebec border corridor. Widespread, intense surpluses will emerge in southeastern British Columbia (BC), particularly surrounding Kamloops and Kelowna. Intense deficits will continue to emerge around Prince George, BC. Deficits in the Upper Athabasca Watershed of central Alberta will intensify, becoming exceptional. Exceptional surplus conditions will persist from Fort McMurray, Alberta to Churchill Lake, Saskatchewan, and around Fort St. John in the Peace River Region of northeastern BC.

Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean: In the next few months intense water deficits will continue to emerge in Baja, Mexico, and moderate to severe deficits are forecast for Sonora and north-central Mexico. Relatively normal conditions are expected in the south. Surpluses in Central America will shrink considerably, but intense surplus conditions are forecast for Jamaica. Deficits in western Cuba will downgrade to mild. After June, severe deficits will emerge in southern Mexico and northern Central America. Moderate surpluses will emerge along rivers in eastern Sonora, Mexico.

South America: The extent of exceptional deficit will diminish considerably over the next few months. However, pockets are forecast in Amapá, Amazonas, Acre, Maranhão, Goiás, Minas Gerais, Mato Grosso do Sul, and São Paolo, Brazil; and, southeastern Venezuela, eastern Suriname, and French Guiana. Exceptional deficits in northeastern Argentina will downgrade to severe. Surpluses are forecast for northern Bolivia and eastern Paraguay. After June, moderate to severe deficits will continue to emerge across the northern bulk of the continent. Aforementioned deficits in Argentina will moderate.

Europe: Notable in the near-term forecast is the retreat of water surplus in Central Europe and a transition to moderate deficit. Deficits in Northern Europe are expected to persist and increase, with exceptional deficits in Finland, Estonia, and Latvia. Surpluses will remain intense in Hungary, southern Romania, Moldova, and eastern Bulgaria, and will increase in Ukraine. Surpluses will continue to emerge in Ireland and the UK, and will spread on the Iberian Peninsula. After June, mild deficits are forecast for Central Europe, more intense deficits in Northern Europe, and surplus in the western Iberian Peninsula.

Africa: Significant water deficits will continue to emerge across the north, though exceptional deficits will shrink. Deficits will diminish in central and southern Africa but remain intense in Gabon, southeastern DRC, Zambia, and west-central Madagascar. Southern Africa will downgrade to mild deficit. Surpluses will persist in southernmost Sudan, downgrade along the White Nile, increase in Kenya, and emerge in eastern Uganda, Ethiopia, and along the Jubba and Shabelle Rivers through southern Somalia. Exceptional surplus will persist in Tanzania.

Middle East: Exceptional water deficits are forecast to shrink considerably through June, but deficits will increase overall as Turkey transitions from surplus to deficit and severe deficits emerge in Yemen and western Oman. Exceptional deficits will persist in southeastern Turkey, southern Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, northern Saudi Arabia, and along the Persian Gulf in Iran. Intense deficits will emerge in Gaza, Israel, West Bank, and Lebanon. In Iran deficits will downgrade but remain widespread. After June, deficits in Lebanon and West Bank will upgrade to exceptional.

Central Asia and Russia: The forecast through June indicates that water surplus will shrink in European Russia, persist in the Tom River watershed, and transition to deficit in the Ob River watershed. Deficits will emerge surrounding Orenburg on the Ural River, and between the Lower Tunguska and the Angara Rivers in the Yenisei watershed. In Kazakhstan, surpluses will emerge and persist in the north, but diminish elsewhere; deficits will emerge in the west, which will be extreme on the Ural River. Intense deficits are forecast for Turkmenistan, eastern Uzbekistan, western Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan.

South Asia: India will transition out of widespread water deficit except in Madhya Pradesh where exceptional deficit is forecast through June. Surplus is forecast in western Andhra Pradesh, India’s southern tip, Odisha, Gujarat, the far north, the Ganges watershed, the Narmada River, central Nepal, and Bangladesh. Intense deficits will continue to emerge in Afghanistan, but diminish in Pakistan except for Karachi where conditions will be exceptional. After June, intense deficits will persist in Afghanistan while anomalies elsewhere in South Asia are expected to be relatively modest.

Southeast Asia and the Pacific: The forecast indicates a transition away from water surplus to deficit. Deficits are forecast for mainland Southeast Asia, Peninsular Malaysia, northern Sumatra, and Luzon and Mindanao in the Philippines; deficits may be exceptional in Peninsular Malaysia. Exceptional deficits in Cambodia will shrink considerably but persist in a pocket northeast of Tonlé Sap. Severe deficits are forecast for Vietnam’s Mekong Delta region. Surpluses are forecast for central Philippines. After June, anomalies in the region will downgrade though severe deficits will continue in Peninsular Malaysia.

East Asia: The forecast through June indicates that exceptional deficits in Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, and Xinjiang will diminish considerably. Deficits will increase in Northeast China; downgrade to mild in Shandong; and continue to emerge in the Southeast. Surpluses in the Yangtze Basin will diminish considerably, though exceptional surplus conditions are forecast for the Han River Basin. Hainan will transition from surplus to moderate deficit, as will Guangxi. Moderate deficit is forecast for North Korea. After June, water anomalies in China and Mongolia will downgrade overall.

Australia:  A transition away from significant water deficit is forecast for mainland Australia. Exceptional deficits will shrink considerably, retreating to Channel Country in central Australia. However, intense deficits are forecast for western Tasmania, coastal Victoria, Darwin, and the southeastern tip of Western Australia. Moderate deficits are forecast for the remainder of New South Wales, much of South Australia, Northern Territory, and much of the northern half of Western Australia. Moderate deficits are forecast for North Island New Zealand, and New Caledonia.

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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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