14 December 2018

This map presents a selection of regions likely to encounter significant water anomalies during the one year period beginning in September 2018 and running through August 2019 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 December 14, 2018 (pdf).

United States: Through February, widespread intense water surpluses will persist in the center of the country and in the east. Surpluses will cut a broad path from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, passing through Iowa and reaching the eastern half of Texas. Surpluses are also forecast for the northern Ohio River Basin and in the east from southern New York through Florida’s Panhandle, and will be extreme in eastern Pennsylvania. Areas of deficit include: northern New York, northern Maine, southern Florida, northwestern Wyoming, Colorado, and western Oregon.

Canada: The forecast through February indicates a pattern of anomalies similar to the prior three months, including: exceptional water deficits in Quebec, notably in the Ottawa-Gatineau River region in the south and across the border into Ontario; intense deficits in the Middle and Upper Reaches of the Athabasca River watershed in Alberta; and intense surpluses in southeastern British Columbia. Deficits are expected to increase in southern Saskatchewan where anomalies will be severe to exceptional.

Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean: For the next three months, water surpluses will persist in northern Coahuila, Mexico, and along a diagonal from southern Durango through Mexico City, broken by a pocket of exceptional deficits in southern Puebla, and continuing into northern Oaxaca. Intense surpluses are forecast in Nicaragua. Areas of deficit include: the Rio Grande in Chihuahua, northern Yucatan, western Panama, Jamaica, Haiti, and Dominican Republic.

South America: Exceptional water deficits will diminish considerably over the next several months but through February intense deficits are forecast in: southern Amazonas, Brazil; southeastern Venezuela; northern Chile; and southwestern Bolivia. Deficits of varying intensity are forecast in the northwest quadrant of the continent. Areas of surplus include: Amapá, Brazil, and southern Mato Grosso through western Minas Gerais; northern Bolivia; Paraguay; and the Paraná River in Argentina to Buenos Aires.

Europe: Though the extent and intensity of water deficits in Europe will diminish considerably through February, severe to exceptional anomalies are forecast in Finland, pockets of Sweden, southern European Russia, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, western Germany, and eastern Slovenia and the Sava River Basin in Croatia and northern Bosnia-Herzegovina. Areas of surplus include Norway, northern European Russia, and the United Kingdom.

Africa: The forecast through February indicates that water deficits will downgrade considerably. However, areas with notably intense conditions include western Ethiopia; pockets of northern Somalia, Nigeria, and southwestern Cameroon; southwestern Angola into Namibia; and, Lesotho and the Orange River region of Northern Cape, South Africa. Surpluses are forecast for Tanzania, southern Congo into western DRC and northern Angola, and south-central Chad.

Middle East: Water deficits are expected to shrink and downgrade through February though intense deficits are forecast for Yemen’s western and eastern thirds and severe deficits in Saudi Arabia’s large south-central region of Riyadh. Surpluses will persist in western Iran north of the Red Sea and across the border into Iraq and will remain intense. Surpluses are also forecast along Iran’s western Caspian Sea coast; north of Kirkuk, Iraq; and in eastern Turkey.

Central Asia and Russia: The forecast through February indicates intense water surpluses on the Ob, Vakh, Pur, and Taz Rivers in Russia. Surpluses will be widespread in the Middle Ob region and the Yenisei River watershed. Severe to extreme deficits are forecast for western Kazakhstan, reaching across the northern border into the Ural River watershed in Russia. Surpluses are expected in northern Kazakhstan, eastern Kyrgyzstan, western Tajikistan, and along the Zerafshon River in Uzbekistan. Deficits are forecast for eastern Tajikistan and central Kyrgyzstan.

South Asia: Through February, exceptional water deficits are forecast in India from Gujarat through Maharashtra and Karnataka, and deficits of varying severity in many regions south of the Gangetic Plain and to the west in Rajasthan. In Pakistan, isolated intense deficits are possible in Karachi. Moderate deficits are forecast in northern Afghanistan, but conditions may be intense northeast of Kabul and along the Harirud River in the west. In Bangladesh, exceptional surpluses are forecast in Chittagong.

Southeast Asia and the Pacific: The forecast through February indicates that water deficits will persist in western Cambodia and Thailand, emerge in the Philippines, and increase in Papua New Guinea. Deficits will be exceptional in Cambodia. Areas of surpluses include: northern Laos, northern Vietnam and parts of the Central Highlands, Malaysia, Sumatra, and northwestern Borneo. Surpluses may be intense in Riau and Jambi, Sumatra, and along the Kapuas River in Borneo.

East Asia: The forecast through February indicates a vast stretch of intense water deficit from southern Mongolia and western Inner Mongolia to China’s western border, including areas of both deficit and surplus as transitions occur. Exceptional deficits are also forecast for Hebei, with deficits of somewhat lesser intensity reaching through Beijing and Shanxi. A vast block of intense surplus is expected from the Yangtze River through southeastern China. Moderate surpluses are forecast for South Korea.

Australia & New Zealand: The forecast through February indicates that intense water deficits will nearly disappear, persisting in Tasmania, pockets of Victoria and New South Wales, and around Busselton in Western Australia. Deficits will be severe on the Murray River. Moderate deficits are forecast across northern Australia. In New Zealand, deficits are forecast in the north and surpluses in the south from Christchurch to Dunedin. Deficits in New Caledonia will moderate.

Subscribe to our monthly Water Watch List

Search blog categories

Search blog tags


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.

For more information contact

Copyright 2019 ISCIENCES, L.L.C. Global Water Monitor & Forecast Watch List is the property of ISCIENCES, L.L.C. It is protected by U.S. copyright laws and may not be reproduced in any way without the written permission of ISCIENCES, L.L.C. The user assumes the entire risk related to its use of information on ISCIENCES, L.L.C. Web pages, including information derived from Water Security Indicators Model (WSIM). This information may include forecasts, projections and other predictive statements that represent ISCIENCES, L.L.C.’s assumptions and expectations in light of currently available information and using the highest professional standards. Actual results may differ from those projected. Consequently, no guarantee is presented or implied as to the accuracy of specific forecasts, projections or predictive statements contained herein. ISCIENCES, L.L.C. provides such information "as is," and disclaims any and all warranties, whether express or implied, including (without limitation) any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. In no event will ISCIENCES, L.L.C. be liable to you or to any third party for any direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, special or exemplary damages or lost profit resulting from any use or misuse of this data.