Southeast Asia & the Pacific: Intense deficits to persist in W Cambodia

17 December 2018

The 12-month forecast through August 2019 indicates exceptional water deficits in much of western Cambodia, and severe to exceptional deficits throughout Thailand. Moderate to severe deficits are forecast for the Philippines, northeastern and southern Borneo, and pockets in Sulawesi. In Papua New Guinea, deficits of varying intensity are expected with exceptional deficits in the south.

Surpluses are forecast for Myanmar, northern Laos, northern Vietnam and Dak Lak and nearby provinces in Vietnam’s Central Highlands. Surpluses are expected to be exceptional in western Myanmar and the Irrawaddy Delta, and in northern Laos. Surpluses of lesser intensity are forecast in pockets of Sumatra and Borneo.

The 3-month maps (below) show the evolving conditions in more detail.

The near-term forecast through February indicates that exceptional deficits will persist in western Cambodia, shrinking slightly, and severe to extreme deficits will persist in Thailand. Intense deficits are expected to emerge in the Philippines. In Papua New Guinea (PNG), deficits will increase, emerging throughout the Bird’s Tail Peninsula (Papuan Peninsula) in the southeast, but deficits west of the Gulf of Papua will downgrade from exceptional to severe. Pockets of deficit are also forecast for parts of Sulawesi and the Lesser Sunda Islands. Surpluses will remain exceptional in northern Laos and severe in northern Vietnam, while those in southern Vietnam downgrade and shrink. In Myanmar, conditions of both surplus and deficit are expected as transitions occur. Surpluses of varying intensity are expected to emerge in peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, and northwestern Borneo. Surpluses may be especially intense in Riau and Jambi, Sumatra, and in Borneo along the Kapuas River.

From March through May, surpluses in Malaysia, Sumatra, and Borneo will nearly disappear. Some pockets of moderate surplus are forecast in Java. In western Cambodia, exceptional deficits will shrink but persist around Tonlé Sap. Deficits will downgrade overall in Thailand but remain widespread and may intensify to exceptional in pockets in the east and center of the country. Conditions of both surplus and deficit are forecast in Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam as surpluses recede and transitions occur. Deficits of varying intensity remain in the forecast for the Philippines, downgrading in the north but intensifying in the south. Deficits in PNG will downgrade but persist.

The forecast for the final months – June through August – indicates moderate to severe deficit conditions in many parts of the region

(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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