Conceptual Model of Water Resources in the Kabul Basin, Afghanistan

This technical report presents the results of a multidisciplinary water-resources assessment conducted between 2005 and 2007 to address questions of future water availability for a growing population and of the potential effects of climate change, making considerable use of remotely sensed data and, where available, historical records to investigate the water resources of the Kabul Basin. The report includes documentation of the data-collection and analytical methods and the results of analyses that can be used in the management of water resources in the Kabul Basin.

The report also includes a description of a conceptual groundwater-flow model that can be used to assess components of the groundwater-flow system and to estimate water availability in the Kabul Basin. Water resources for 2006–07 are described and projected water-resources availability is presented with respect to needs generated by an increasing population and potential climate change.

The report finds that future water resources of the Kabul Basin will likely be reduced as a result of increasing air temperatures associated with global climate change. It is estimated that at least

60 percent of shallow groundwater-supply wells would be affected and may become dry or inoperative as a result of climate change. These effects of climate change would likely be greatest in the agricultural areas adjacent to the Paghman Mountains where a majority of springs, karezes, and wells would be affected. The water available in the shallow primary aquifer of the basin may meet future water needs in the northern areas of the Kabul Basin near the Panjsher River.

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