Climate Change

'India may face an intense and increased water deficit next year'

Global water forecast suggests many regions likely to face significant water anomalies in the next few months

 
By Rashmi Verma
Last Updated: Tuesday 27 November 2018
The 12-month forecast indicates exceptional water deficits in Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Madhya Pradesh. Credits: Getty Images
The 12-month forecast indicates exceptional water deficits in Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Madhya Pradesh. Credits: Getty Images The 12-month forecast indicates exceptional water deficits in Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Madhya Pradesh. Credits: Getty Images

Water deficits will increase and intensify in India in 2019, says the latest edition of Global Water Monitor & Forecast Watch List (November 2018). It represents the regions which are likely to encounter significant water anomalies in the next few months. The results showcase that exceptional water deficits occur throughout Gujarat in the west and severe to exceptional deficits from Madhya Pradesh through Karnataka, as well as in Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, and India’s far northeast.

The report presented by IScience (US based limited liability corporation) states the findings from the latest Water Security Indicator Model (WSIM) analysis of global water anomalies using observed temperature and precipitation through October 2018 and an ensemble of forecasts issued the last week of October 2018. ISciences Water Security Indicator Model (WSIM) monitors and forecasts water anomalies on a near global basis. WSIM products include data, visualisations and reports. WSIM includes algorithms to assess the impacts of water anomalies on people, agriculture and electricity generation. WSIM has been run continuously since April 2011 and has been validated against subsequent monitoring based on observed data.

The map of South Asia, presents a selection of regions likely to encounter significant water anomalies during the one year period beginning in August 2018 and running through July 2019

The map of South Asia, presents a selection of regions likely to encounter significant water anomalies during the one year period beginning in August 2018 and running through July 2019 using three months of observed temperature and precipitation data, and nine months of forecast data.

The forecast predicts severe to exceptional surplus water for regions including Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Mizoram. Moderate to severe deficits were forecast for Bihar. From February through April, deficits in India are expected to moderate overall and some regions in the country’s eastern third will normalise. However, intense deficits will persist throughout Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh and along the Tungabhadra River through Karnataka. The forecast for the final months — May through July (2019) — indicates primarily moderate deficits in India and pockets throughout the region. Some surpluses are expected in Jammu and Kashmir, northern Pakistan, along the Gandaki River in central Nepal, and pockets of Tamil Nadu.

The 12-month forecast through July 2019 indicates exceptional (greater than 40 years) water deficits in Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Madhya Pradesh.

The previous year datasets are used to derive model value. The results of previous model state that three of the five hottest Septembers on record in India have occurred in the last three years — 2015, 2017, and 2018. Though this September’s extreme heat was unrelated to El Niño — which usually introduces warm dry conditions — El Niño is being blamed for low rainfall during the June-to-September monsoon season. The monsoon rain deficits have caused drought-like conditions in almost a third of Indian districts, and added stress for the farmers.

India’s coffee production is expected to fall to its lowest in five years due to flood damage to plantations in southern states such as Kerala and Karnataka. India exports about three quarters of the coffee it produces, and flood damage has been reported in all key producing areas of the country. The future forecast will help visualise the impact and intensity at a large scale.

It also provides highlights of regional water forecasts for the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America, South America, Europe, Africa, Middle East, Central Asia and Russia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific East Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter :
Related Stories

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.