WPS GLOBAL EARLY WARNING TOOL AUGUST 2023 QUARTERLY ANALYSIS
PLACES TO WATCH FOR VIOLENT CONFLICT
These are selected areas where the model predicts the likelihood of at least 10 fatalities in the next 12 months in a given first subnational administrative unit (state/province) that have linkages to water challenges. See details in the next section.
- East Africa: While this year’s March-May rainy season brought relief to many areas, the impact of the multi-season drought remains, and some of the same places have been impacted by flooding.
- Somalia: In May, during its longest drought on record, Somalia suffered some of its worst flash and riverine flooding in decades.
- Sudan: The dire water and sanitation situation because of the conflict creates fears of a cholera outbreak.
- Iraq: Driven by a host of factors, rural communities are witnessing a demise of their water resources, which are forcing them off their lands.
- Iran: Extreme heat and water shortages are forcing people to line up in the streets with jerrycans after taps run empty in parts of Tehran.
- Iran and Afghanistan: Iranian and Afghan border guards exchanged gunfire, with several people reportedly killed and wounded. The incident comes amidst an escalation of tensions over Iran’s water rights from the Helmand River.
- Afghanistan and Central Asia: Afghanistan has begun digging the Qosh Tepa Irrigation Canal, which will – if completed – divert a considerable amount of water away from Central Asia.
- Pakistan: An August 2023 report by Islamic Relief tallies the tremendous losses and details other impacts of the record-breaking flooding of 2022.
- India: A tributary of the Ganges, which flows through New Delhi, saw record flooding in mid-July.
OTHER REGIONS AND ISSUES OF INTEREST
These are a few of the areas that are currently outside of the model's geographic scope but have water-related challenges. We are also following certain issues of interest. See details in the next section.
- China: In mid-July, China’s Xinjiang Province was hit by record 52.2-degree Celsius heat.
- Thailand: As of July, rainfall in 2023 was 28% below the same period last year and was projected to decrease even further over the next two years with the onset of El Niño weather patterns.
- Southern Europe and North Africa: In July, Southern Europe and North Africa saw extreme heat conditions which created conditions ripe for the spread of wildfires.
- Ukraine: In early June, the Kakhovka Dam was destroyed, unleashing a wave of flooding that inundated downstream towns, industrial sites, and farmland. The destruction of the dam killed people and livestock, destroyed livelihoods, poisoned freshwater supplies, and imperiled the region’s ecology.
- Argentina: The IMF projects that Argentina’s economy will contract by 2.5%, largely due to crippling drought and its impact on the agricultural sector.
- Uruguay. The worst drought in 44 years, coupled with water resources mismanagement, has severely limited access to clean water in Montevideo, home to 60% of the country’s population.
- Mexico: In mid-July, over 40% of Mexico is in moderate to extreme drought, leading to crop losses, water shortages and higher food prices.
- United States: In late July, ocean temperatures off the coast of Florida reached 101.1 degrees Fahrenheit, which could be a global record.
- Global Temperatures: In early July, the planet’s average daily temperature soared to levels unseen in modern record-keeping.
PLACES TO WATCH FOR VIOLENT CONFLICT
In May, in the midst of its longest drought on record, Somalia suffered some of its worst flash and riverine flooding in decades. "Floods have washed away livestock, inundated farmland and displaced an estimated 219,000 people," according to the WFP.
EAST AFRICA: UNPRECEDENTED FOOD INSECURITY
While this year’s March-May rainy season brought relief to many areas of East Africa, the impact of the multi-season drought remains, and in some cases these same places were impacted by flooding. Experts warn that one good rainy season is not enough to counter the cumulative impact of the long drought. Indeed, the World Food Programme reported in late June that seven countries in the East Africa region were experiencing unprecedented levels of food insecurity. “WFP said that nearly 60 million people are not getting enough food to remain active and healthy, forcing families to sell their livestock and engage in negative coping strategies such as prostitution to survive.” The food insecurity derives from many drivers in addition to drought and flooding, such as stubbornly high food prices and Russia’s halting of the Black Sea grain deal. The WPS long-term forecast predicts ongoing and emerging conflict in parts of East Africa.