A transition away from significant water deficit is forecast for mainland Australia. Exceptional deficits will shrink considerably, retreating to Channel Country in central Australia. However, intense deficits are forecast for western Tasmania, coastal Victoria, Darwin, and the southeastern tip of Western Australia. Moderate deficits are forecast for the remainder of New South Wales, much of South Australia, Northern Territory, and much of the northern half of Western Australia. Moderate deficits are forecast for North Island New Zealand, and New Caledonia.
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Exceptional water deficits observed in recent months over much of Australia should diminish considerably in the near-term and through April 2018. However, significant deficits are forecast through October in: Western Australia from the Hamersley Range to the southernmost tip; southeastern Australia and Tasmania; the north across Northern Territory and Queensland; and, New Caledonia. Deficits may be exceptional north and south of Perth; east of Melbourne; central Tasmania; around the Gulf of Carpentaria; and Darwin. Along Queensland’s northeast coast surpluses will persist near Mackay. Past October moderate deficits will continue to emerge in Victoria and New South Wales.
Widespread exceptional water deficits from Northern Territory into Queensland are expected to dissipate. However, intense deficit conditions will persist through September in the southwestern extents of Western Australia, Darwin, Tasmania, coastal Victoria into New South Wales, and New Caledonia, and may persist into early 2018 from Perth south. Observed surpluses in the northwest and eastern Queensland will moderate but persist through December.
Regions forecast to have significant water deficits for the 12-month period from April 2017 through March 2018 include: Brazil, Europe, northern Africa, Gabon, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Cambodia, South Korea, Tasmania, and Mongolia. Water surpluses are forecast for: the US Gulf Coast and Idaho, La Pampa (Argentina), western European Russia, eastern Romania, southeastern Tanzania, the Volga River Basin, between the Upper Ob and the Tom Rivers (Russia), Kazakhstan, Bangladesh, and the southern Yangtze River Basin. This Watch List is based on ISciences Water Security Indicator Model (WSIM) Global Water Monitor and Forecast issued 10 July 2017.
Widespread extreme water deficits spanning the middle of the country are expected to subside in the June through August forecast period. Deficits will persist in the Darwin region of the Northern Territory, on Tasmania, and in the southwestern extents of Western Australia through November. Recent surplus conditions in northern Western Australia, east of Darwin, and along the central Queensland coast are expected persist through November. In the December through February 2018 forecast period conditions are forecast to normalize with the exception of moderate deficits south of Darwin and in the Perth region of Western Australia.
The April through June outlook indicates significant improvement as widespread and exceptional water anomalies are no longer evident in the forecast for South Australia, Queensland, and New South Wales. However, severe to exceptional deficits are expected to emerge throughout Tasmania and in Western Australia. Moderate deficits are forecast for central Australia, New Caledonia, and southern South Island, New Zealand. Surpluses will continue to emerge in eastern Queensland, and surpluses in the Kimberley Plateau in the northwest will diminish. After June primarily abnormal deficits will prevail over most of the country, with more severe deficits in eastern Tasmania, Western Australia, and in the north near Darwin.
Widespread exceptional water deficits in South Australia are forecast to nearly disappear from March through May leaving moderate deficits, but widespread deficits of varying severity are forecast in eastern Australia, particularly Queensland, with exceptional deficits in Central West, Queensland. Primarily moderate deficits are forecast for New South Wales, much of Victoria, and in Western Australia south of Perth. After May the forecast indicates considerable improvement with the near-absence of extreme to exceptional deficits, though severe deficits will emerge in eastern Tasmania.
Water deficits are forecast to persist through May in Tasmania, the southwestern tip of Western Australia, and from Adelaide through Victoria, though deficits of exceptional severity will diminish considerably in extent. Surpluses are forecast for central Queensland and parts of the Murray-Darling Basin through November. Far north reaches of Australia are expected to transition from deficit to moderate surplus from December through February.
Water deficits are forecast to linger for the next six months across parts of northern Australia – particularly Arnhem Land and along the Gulf of Carpentaria – and also from Perth southward; in Tasmania; on North Island, New Zealand; and in New Caledonia. A transition from moderate deficits to moderate surpluses in the Darling and Murray Rivers and their tributaries is forecast from August on.
Australia & New Zealand: Water deficits across northern Australia & Tasmania; North Island, New Zealand
The forecast through December 2016 indicates the presence of persistent water deficits across northern Australia and in Victoria, Tasmania, and North Island, New Zealand. A transition from moderate deficits to moderate surpluses in easternmost tributaries of the Darling and Murray Rivers forecast beginning in August.