Europe: Water deficits to persist in Finland, Germany, Netherlands

17 December 2018

The 12-month forecast through August 2019 indicates moderate to extreme deficits throughout most of Europe. Areas of intense deficit include southern Finland, southern Sweden, Latvia, Albania, Macedonia, and Greece.

Pockets of primarily moderate surplus are forecast for northern European Russia, west-central Sweden, southwestern Norway, Scotland, Spain northwest of Valencia, southern Sardinia, and southeastern Sicily.

The 3-month composites (below) for the same 12-month time period show the evolving conditions.

The extent and intensity of deficits in Europe will diminish considerably through February. However, 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. Primarily moderate deficits are forecast in Eastern Europe and the Balkans, as well as much of Italy. Southern Spain will transition from surplus to moderate deficit. Surpluses are forecast for Norway, northern European Russia, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Switzerland, pockets in the Middle Loire Valley and southeastern France, and northeastern Spain.

From March through May, conditions of moderate deficit, along with some severe pockets, will prevail in much of Eastern Europe, the Baltics, and the Balkans. Extreme deficits will persist in southern Finland and moderate deficits are forecast for southern Norway and southern European Russia. Moderate deficits are also forecast for Germany, the western Iberian Peninsula, and pockets of southern France and Italy. Surpluses are expected in Norway, northern England and pockets of Scotland and Ireland, and Switzerland into Austria. Conditions in northern European Russia will normalize overall with some lingering surpluses, and surpluses are expected in the northwest Caucasus.

The forecast for the remaining months – June through August – indicates primarily moderate deficit conditions throughout nearly all of Europe with pockets of severe deficits.

(It should be noted that forecast skill declines with longer lead times.)

There are numerous regions around the world where country borders are contested. ISciences depicts country boundaries on these maps solely to provide some geographic context. The boundaries are nominal, not legal, descriptions of each entity. The use of these boundaries does not imply any judgement on the legal status of any territory, or any endorsement or acceptance of disputed boundaries on the part of ISciences or our data providers.

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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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