8 February 2019

This map presents a selection of regions likely to encounter significant water anomalies during the one year period beginning in October 2018 and running through September 2019 using 3 months of observed temperature and precipitation data and 9 months of forecast data.

NOTE: This edition, originally scheduled for release on January 15, 2019, was delayed due to the partial U.S. government shutdown from December 22, 2018 through January 25, 2019. The Worldwide Water Watch List is derived from ISciences Water Security Indicator Model which uses several input datasets, including observed monthly mean temperature and total precipitation for the most recent month. These data are produced by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Due to the shutdown, NOAA was unable to produce the December 2018 data on the regular monthly schedule.

The synopsis that follows provides highlights of regional water forecasts. Regional details are available in ISciences Global Water Monitor & Forecast Watch List February 8, 2019 (pdf).

United States: Though exceptional water surpluses will diminish through March, widespread and intense conditions will persist from Wisconsin through southern Minnesota, Iowa, eastern Nebraska, eastern Kansas, central Oklahoma, and central and eastern Texas. Surpluses along the Eastern Seaboard will also persist but moderate, while conditions in the Ohio River Valley normalize. In the western US, mild deficits are forecast punctuated by pockets of more intense anomalies, deficits as well as surpluses.

Canada: The forecast through March indicates a pattern of water anomalies similar to the prior three months. Notable changes are as follows: deficits are expected to increase and intensify in southern Saskatchewan and to a lesser extent in southern Alberta; and, moderate surpluses will emerge in southwestern British Columbia and along the length of BC’s coast. Persisting conditions include intense deficits in the Ottawa-Gatineau Region of Quebec and across the border into Southern Ontario.

Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean: For the next three months, water surpluses are forecast in Mexico for northern Coahuila, along Sinaloa’s northern coast, and from southern Durango through Mexico City. Deficits are expected in the northern Yucatan and scattered small pockets throughout the south. Deficits along the Rio Grande in Chihuahua will moderate. Deficits in Cuba and Hispaniola will become mild, but intense deficits will emerge in eastern Jamaica.

South America: The forecast through March indicates that water deficits in the Amazon Basin will shrink, but exceptional deficits will persist in southern Amazonas and the center of the country, and intense deficits will emerge Central-West and Southeast states and along the São Francisco River. Other areas of deficit include Peru and Chile. Surpluses will emerge in northeastern Argentina, Uruguay, and Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, with exceptional surpluses in eastern Uruguay.

Europe: Water deficits will shrink considerably in Central and Eastern Europe through March, but intense deficits are forecast for Finland, Sweden, Slovenia, Croatia, and Macedonia. Severe deficits will emerge on the Iberian Peninsula and deficits of varying intensity are forecast for Estonia, Latvia, northern Belarus, Italy, pockets of the Balkans, and central European Russia. Areas of surplus include northern European Russia, southern Sweden, pockets of the UK, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic, Romania, and scattered pockets of Central and Eastern Europe.

Africa: The forecast through March indicates that water deficits will persist on much of the continent, but the extent of exceptional deficits will diminish considerably. Moderate to severe deficits are forecast across northern and central Africa along with pockets of exceptional deficit. Anomalies will be intense in Nigeria, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and Lesotho. Mild to moderate deficits are forecast for southern Africa. Intense surpluses will persist in western Tanzania.

Middle East: The forecast through March indicates intense water deficits on the Arabian Peninsula and surpluses in eastern Turkey, northern Syria, the Euphrates and eastern Iraq, and western Iran. Intense deficits are forecast for Saudi Arabia, Yemen’s western and eastern thirds, and pockets of Oman. Extreme deficits will emerge in Qatar but deficits in United Arab Emirates will downgrade. In Iran, deficits will be severe to extreme in southern Yazd and Kerman into Sistan and Baluchistan.

Central Asia and Russia: The forecast through March indicates intense water surpluses in the Ob and Yenisei River Basins in Russia. Moderate to severe deficits are forecast for the Ural River Watershed in northwestern Kazakhstan and across the border into Russia, and in the Upper Volga River Basin and parts of Trans Volga. Primarily moderate surpluses are expected along the Ertis (Irtysh), Esil, and Ile Rivers in Kazakhstan, and the Zarafshon River in eastern Uzbekistan. Severe deficits are forecast for eastern Tajikistan and surpluses in the west.

South Asia: The forecast through March indicates intense water deficits in western and southern India with exceptional deficits in Gujarat and Karnataka. Surpluses are forecast for Uttar Pradesh into western Nepal, and in Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, and Jammu and Kashmir. Exceptional deficits are forecast in southeastern Pakistan, moderate deficits in the southwest, and surpluses in the northeast. Surpluses are expected in Bangladesh and will be exceptional in Chittagong Division reaching into Mizoram, India.

Southeast Asia and the Pacific: The forecast through March indicates that exceptional water deficits in western Cambodia will shrink somewhat but persist, and deficits in Thailand will downgrade slightly but remain widespread. Other areas of deficit include the Philippines, eastern Borneo, Sumatra’s southern tip, and Papua New Guinea. Surpluses are forecast for much of Vietnam, north-central Laos, most of Sumatra, western Indonesian Borneo, and pockets of Java.

East Asia: The forecast through March indicates a vast block of exceptional water deficits in southern Mongolia and Inner Mongolia, and a path of intense deficits stretching to China’s western border. Beijing, Hebei, and western Liaoning will also see exceptional deficits, and deficits are forecast in Shandong and Shanxi. Other areas of deficits include Henan, Hubei, Shaanxi, eastern Sichuan, eastern Yunnan, and Hong Kong. Surpluses in Southeast China will increase, with exceptional surpluses forecast on the Lower and Middle Yangtze River and in Jiangxi, Hunan, and into eastern Guangxi.

Australia & New Zealand: The forecast through March indicates that the intense water deficits that have dominated many parts of Australia in prior months will diminish considerably. However, severe to exceptional deficits will persist in Tasmania; along the southeastern coast of Australia from Adelaide past Melbourne; in the Strzelecki Desert in northwestern New South Wales; around Darwin in Northern Territory; and in the Blackwood River region near Busselton in the tip of Western Australia.

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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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