A notable improvement is forecast for southern Africa and the Horn of Africa where conditions will transition from intense to mild water deficit. Intense deficits are, however, forecast scattered across the southern Sahara and the Sahel, and in a stretch from southern Democratic Republic of the Congo through eastern Zambia into Malawi. Deficits of varying severity remain dominant in many other regions, but surpluses are forecast for northeastern South Sudan and Tanzania, and will be exceptional in Tanzania. After April, severe deficits will emerge across northern Africa and will persist in Zambia.
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With media attention focused on the dire water situation in Cape Town, South Africa - the city is currently expected to run out of water on 16 April - some of our followers are asking why our most recent blog post and maps didn't echo the alarm. Our 12-month forecast ending September 2018 shows merely "moderate" water deficits ahead for the region, something you'd expect to see once every 5 to 10 years. Certainly no alarming red blobs indicating "exceptional" water deficits, those that might occur only once in 40 or more years. How can that be, given the desperate and very real situation in Cape Town right now?
Most areas of exceptional water deficit will downgrade through March. Moderate deficits are expected across northern Africa, with more severe conditions in Morocco, Western Sahara, and Guinea-Bissau. Intense deficits are also forecast for southeastern Nigeria, southwestern Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon. Intense deficits will retreat in southern Africa. Surpluses will linger in southern Sudan, northeastern South Sudan, Tanzania, northern Mozambique, and northern Madagascar. After March deficits in northern Africa will intensify, but south of the Sahara milder conditions will prevail.
Exceptional water deficits are expected to diminish considerably, leaving severe conditions across the north but relatively moderate conditions in the south. Some intense deficits are forecast for western Mauritania, southwestern Burkina Faso, the Chinko Nature Reserve in Central African Republic, southwestern Namibia, and Cape Town, South Africa. Surpluses are forecast for southeastern Sudan, northeastern South Sudan, the Niger Delta, Gabon, north-central Uganda, eastern Tanzania, Okavango Delta in Botswana, and the central border between Botswana and South Africa.
Regions forecast to have significant water deficits for the 12-month period from July 2017 through June 2018 include: Amapá (Brazil), Estonia, Ukraine, Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Madhya Pradesh (India), western Cambodia, and Tasmania (Australia). Water surpluses are forecast for: Tripura, Mizoram, and Manipur (India), western Myanmar, the Upper and Middle Yangtze River (China), and the Upper Ob River and Tom River Basins and the Transvolga Region (Russia). This Watch List is based on ISciences Water Security Indicator Model (WSIM) Global Water Monitor and Forecast issued 9 October 2017.