South Asia: Exceptional water deficits forecast for Gujarat & Karnataka

9 February 2019

The 12-month forecast through September 2019 indicates water deficits in nearly all of India, but deficits will be especially intense in the southern half of the country. Exceptional deficits are forecast for in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu. Surpluses are forecast for Jammu and Kashmir in the north.

In Pakistan, deficits are forecast in the south and will be intense near Karachi, and surpluses are expected in the north and along the Indus River. Similarly, in Afghanistan, some moderate deficits are expected in the south and moderate surpluses in the north.

Moderate deficits are forecast for Nepal and Bhutan. Moderate surpluses are forecast for Dhaka Division in Bangladesh, but surpluses are expected to be severe in Chittagong Division in the east.

The 3-month composites (below) show the evolving conditions in greater detail.

The near-term forecast through March indicates intense deficits in western and southern India with exceptional deficits in Gujarat and Karnataka. Moderate to extreme surpluses are forecast for Uttar Pradesh in the western Gangetic Plain reaching into western Nepal, and severe to exceptional surpluses in Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, and Jammu and Kashmir in the north.

In Pakistan, deficits will reach exceptional intensity in the southeast including Karachi. Moderate deficits are forecast for the southwest and surpluses in the northeast. Moderate deficits are forecast west of Kabul in Afghanistan, some surpluses near Kabul, and intense deficits in the northern Hindu Kush region into Pakistan. In Bangladesh, moderate to severe surpluses are forecast but conditions will be exceptional in Chittagong Division in the east reaching into Mizoram, India.

From April through June, deficits are expected to moderate overall in India, though pockets of exceptional deficit are forecast for western Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. Moderate to extreme deficits will emerge in India’s Far Northwest. Surpluses in Uttar Pradesh will shrink and surpluses in Nepal will nearly disappear. Surpluses in India’s northern regions will shrink and downgrade somewhat. In Pakistan, deficits in the southeast will shrink but remain intense, and conditions in far north Pakistan will transition from deficit to surplus. Moderate surpluses will increase in northern Afghanistan, transitioning from deficit west of Kabul. Conditions in Bangladesh are expected to return to near normal.

The forecast for the final months – July through September – indicates primarily moderate deficits in India from the center of the country to the Bay of Bengal and in much of the Gangetic Plain, more intense deficits in India’s Far Northeast, and surpluses in the far north. Deficits will intensify in southwestern Pakistan and western Afghanistan and will emerge in northern Afghanistan. Severe surpluses are expected along the northern Indus River in Pakistan.

(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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