Advertisement

Groundwater Availability in the Kabul Basin, Afghanistan

  • Thomas J. Mack
Chapter
Part of the Springer Hydrogeology book series (SPRINGERHYDRO)

Abstract

The Kabul Basin in eastern Afghanistan contains a sedimentary and semi-consolidated rock aquifer that is as much as 1,000 m thick. The city of Kabul is in the southern part of the basin where the population has doubled in the past 15 years to about 4.8 million in 2015, which represents about 15% of the total population of Afghanistan. This rapid population growth, together with potential impacts of climate change, has raised concern for groundwater availability, which is the primary source of drinking water in the basin. Rising groundwater levels indicate that the basin has emerged from the severe drought of the late 1990s and early 2000s that affected much of Afghanistan. However, groundwater level declines of up to 1.5 m/yr in the city of Kabul illustrate the concern for the sustainability of groundwater resources in the face of growing demands for water. Groundwater flow modeling has been used to estimate water resources in the basin, the potential effects of increased groundwater withdrawals, and potential climate-induced changes to recharge in the basin. Simulated increases in groundwater withdrawals will affect areas of the basin with the greatest population growth, while a climate-induced reduction in recharge may have a more widespread impact and may particularly affect areas near the mountain front. In addressing the sustainability of groundwater in the Kabul Basin, there are various options for water resource managers to explore while continued development of groundwater and surface water monitoring networks is needed.

References

  1. Böckh EG (1971) Report on the groundwater resources of the city of Kabul, Report for Bundesanstalt fur Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe [unpublished]. BGR file number: 0021016, 43 ppGoogle Scholar
  2. Bohannon RG (2010a) Geologic and topographic maps of the Kabul North 30’ x 60’ quadrangle, Afghanistan. U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3120, 2 map sheets, scale 1:100,000, 34 pp Google Scholar
  3. Bohannon RG (2010b) Geologic and topographic maps of the Kabul South 30′ × 60′ quadrangle, Afghanistan. U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3137, pamphlet, 2 map sheets, scale 1:100,000, 34 ppGoogle Scholar
  4. Broshears RE, Akbari MA, Chornack MP, Mueller DK, Ruddy BC (2005) Inventory of ground-water resources in the Kabul Basin, Afghanistan. U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2005–5090, 34 ppGoogle Scholar
  5. Cruz RV, Harasawa H, Lal M, Wu S, Anokhin Y, Punsalmaa B, Honda Y, Jafari M, Li C, Huu Ninh N (2007) Asia, climate change 2007: impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. In: Parry ML, Canziani OF, Palutikof JP, van der Linden PJ, Hanson CE (eds) Contribution of working group II to the fourth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K., pp 469–506Google Scholar
  6. Goes BJM, Parajuli UN, Haq M, Wardlaw RB (2017) Karez (qanat) irrigation in the Helmand River Basin, Afghanistan: a vanishing indigenous legacy. Hydrogeol J 25:269–286.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10040-016-1490-zCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Homilius J (1969) Geoelectrical investigations in east Afghanistan. Geophys Prospect 17(4):468–487CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Houben G, Niard N, Tunnermeier T, Himmelsbach T (2009) Hydrogeology of the Kabul Basin (Afghanistan), part I: aquifer and hydrology. Hydrogeo J 17:665–677CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2014) Climate change 2014: synthesis report. In: Core writing team, Pachauri RK, Meyer LA (eds) Contribution of working groups I, II and III to the fifth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change, IPCC, Geneva, Switzerland, 151 pp. http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/syr/SYR_AR5_FINAL_full_wcover.pdf
  10. International Water Management Institute (2002) Current drought situation in Afghanistan. http://www.iwmi.cgiar.org/droughtassessment/files/pdf/Drought2000inAfghanistan.pdf
  11. Japan International Cooperation Agency (2007) Study on groundwater resources potential in Kabul Basin, in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Sanyu Consultants, Kabul, 20 ppGoogle Scholar
  12. Mack TJ, Akbari MA, Ashoor MH, Chornack MP, Coplen TB, Emerson DG, Hubbard BE, Litke DW, Michel RL, Plummer LN, Rezai MT, Senay GB, Verdin JP, Verstraeten IM (2010) Conceptual model of water resources in the Kabul Basin, Afghanistan. U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2009–5262, 240 pp. https://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2009/5262/
  13. Mack TJ, Chornack MP, Taher MR (2013) Water-level trends and sustainable water in the Kabul Basin. Environment, Systems and Decisions, Afghanistan.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10669-013-9455-4CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Mack TJ, Chornack MP, Verstraeten IM (2014a) Sustainability of water supply at military installations, Kabul Basin, Afghanistan. In: Sustainable cities and military installations: climate change impact on energy and environmental security, NATO Science for Peace and Security Series: C: Environmental Security. http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-94-007-7161-1_11#
  15. Mack TJ, Chornack MP, Flanagan SM, Chalmers AT (2014b) Hydrogeology and water quality of the Chakari Basin, Afghanistan. U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2014–5113, 35 pp. http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20145113
  16. Milly PCD, Dunne KA, Vecchia AV (2005) Global pattern of trends in streamflow and water availability in a changing climate. Nature 438:347–350CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Mukherjee A (2018) Groundwater of South Asia. Springer Nature, Singapore, ISBN 978-981-10-3888-4Google Scholar
  18. Myslil V, Eqrar MN, Hafisi M (1982) Hydrogeology of Kabul Basin (translated from Russian). Sponsored by the United Nations Children’s Fund and the Ministry of Water and Power, Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, p 47Google Scholar
  19. Niard N (2007) Hydrogeology of the Kabul Basin, Part III: Modeling approach, Conceptual and numerical models. Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR), Hannover, Germany, p 103Google Scholar
  20. Oak Ridge National Laboratory (2016) LandScan 2015 worldwide population database. http://web.ornl.gov/sci/landscan/
  21. Olson SA, Williams-Sether T (2010) Streamflow characteristics at streamgages in northern Afghanistan and selected locations. U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 529, 512 pp. https://pubs.usgs.gov/ds/529/
  22. Safi H, Vijselaar L (2007) Groundwater monitoring, evaluation of groundwater data. DACAAR, Kabul, Afghanistan, p 99Google Scholar
  23. Uhl VW (2006) Afghanistan—an overview of groundwater resources and challenges. Ground Water 44(5):626–627CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2015) World population prospects: the 2015 revision, vol. I: comprehensive tables (ST/ESA/SER.A/379)Google Scholar
  25. United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2016) The world’s cities in 2016—data booklet (ST/ESA/SER.A/392)Google Scholar
  26. Vining KC, Vecchia AV (2007) Water-balance simulations of runoff and reservoir storage for the Upper Helmand watershed and Kajakai Reservoir, Central Afghanistan. U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2007–5148, 17 ppGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.U.S. Geological SurveyPembrokeUSA

Personalised recommendations