Water Management Gone Wrong

Kabul is the capital of Afghanistan, for those unaware. Kabul sits at an elevation of over 5800 feet, at the merging of three bodies of water. With Kabul’s population of about 4 million people, a very high percentage (70-80%) do not have access to clean drinking water. That is just Kabul alone. In Afghanistan, with a population of 30 million people, clean accessible water is a topic. Where it comes from and how much clean water is available, is a talked about amongst geologists, the people of the country, and those that understand the urgency.

When brought up, Afghanistan is thought of as the country of war and conflict. The war on water and the conflict of lack of it is not thought of. So what is going on and what actions is the afghan government taking to utilize whatever water resources are available?

Many of the current issues that Afghanistan face, specifically speaking of it’s water supply, are directly influenced by the wars that have continued on for decades. They have left the country harmed in many ways. Yet the wars are not the single source contributing to the water crisis.

Afghanistan’s drastic climate contributes to the water hardship. It has it’s issues with heavy droughts, as well as severe flooding. During drought times when water is scarce, as well as flood times, when not only crops are lost, but people die to. Access to water is a complicated and a frustrating issue.

Mountain rivers produce what could be Afghanistan main water source. However being the way that it geographically sits, the water flows into other countries….Pakistan, Central Asia, Iran.  Proper catchment methods have not been developed or utilized to the water available to the country. Well under 50% of the water that flows from the Afghanistan mountains stays there.

The struggle is real. Developing dams and proper canals, etc to channel the water will take many years, and investors are hesitant to invest in such a project because of the warring history of the country. The government is not offering solutions either, or capitalizing on the water that should belong there.

Potable water is necessary for life. Without clean drinking water and sanitation ( water is needed for this too), disease and infection brew and take the lives of people. Although some practices have been put into play to recently increase the amount of clean water available and to educate on the conservation of water, the road to providing enough clean, drinkable water is still long. Those in control must see this issue and adopt it as a priority for the people of the country.