Assessment of Water Quality and Quantity trends in Kabul Aquifers with an outline for future water supplies

Abdulhalim Zaryab1*, Ali Reza Noori1, Kai Wegerich2, Bjørn Kløve3

1Kabul Polytechnic University, Kabul, Afghanistan

2Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Institute for Geosciences and Geography, Germany

3University of Oulu, Faculty of Technology, Water Resources and Environmental Engineering Research Unit, Finland

*Corresponding author: abdulhalim.zaryab@yahoo.com

Scientific Article

Abstract

The water supply to Kabul city is at serious risk due to groundwater over abstraction and severe contamination by sewage. The water overuse is partly due to poor management and a long period of war, and instability in Afghanistan. In recent years shallow wells have been installed and financed by aid programmes, but this, along with high population increase has also lead to over-use of groundwater resources. The current water supply of about 85% inhabitants depends exclusively on local, individual groundwater sources, obtained predominantly from shallow aquifers, mainly, by hand-pumps. The paper analyses the status and trends of the Kabul groundwater system and assesses new solutions to meet the future water supply demand. The status of groundwater shows that groundwater levels are declining quickly (1 m/year) and several wells are already dry. Moreover, water quality analyses of the Kabul aquifers show a negative trend in groundwater quality in respect to concentration of nitrates, borates and faecal microbes(indicated by the coliform bacteria). This pollution exceeds the maximum permissible values determined by the WHO. To provide new solutions for Kabul city, a master plan for future water resources has been developed and this is further discussed.

Download the article

References

  1. UNESCO Institute for Statistics. http://data.uis.unesco.org/
  2.  Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Study Team, 2011. Draft Kabul City Master Plan. Product of Technical Cooperation Project for Promotion of Kabul Metropolitan Area Development Sub Project for Revise the Kabul City Master Plan.
  3. Eqrar, N., 2015. Groundwater Quantity and Quality problems in Kabul city-University of Kabul.
  4. Houben, G., and Tunnermeier, T., 2005. Hydrogeology of the Kabul Basin- Part II: Groundwater Geochemistry and Microbiology. Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany; BGR.
  5. Mack, T.J., Akbari, M.A., Ashoor, M.H., Chornack, M.P., Coplen, T.B., Emerson, D.G., Hubbard, B.E., Litke, D.W., Michel, R.L., Plummer, L.N., Rezai, M.T., Senay, G.B., Verdin, J.P., Verstraeten, I.M., 2010. Conceptual model of water resources in the Kabul Basin, Afghanistan. U.S. Geological Survey scientific investigations report 2009–5262, 240 pp.
  6. Myslil, V., Eqrar, N.M., and Hafisi, M., 1982. Hydrogeology of Kabul Basin – Report for United Nations Children Found und das Ministry of Water and Power Democratic Republic of Afghanistan [unpublished].
  7. Danish Committee for Aid to Afghan Refugees (DACAAR), 2011. Update on “National groundwater monitoring wells network activities in Afghanistan” from July 2007 to December 2010. DACAAR, Kabul, 23 pp.
  8. Saffi, M. Hassan, 2011. Groundwater natural resources and quality concerns in Kabul Basin, Afghanistan – DACAAR Kabul.
  9. Taher, M.R., Chornack, M.P., and Mack, T.J., 2013. Groundwater-Level Monitoring and Sustainability in the Kabul Basin, Afghanistan, 2004 to 2013. 4th International Hindu Kush Geosciences Conference, Kabul Polytechnic University, Kabul Afghanistan.
  10. Beller consults, (2004). Feasibility Study for the Extension of the Kabul Water Supply System, Interim Report. (Funded by Kreditanstalt fur Wiederaufbau (KfW)).
  11. World Health Organization, (2011). Guidelines for drinking water quality, 4th edition. World Health Organization, Geneva.

nitrate, overuse, pathogens, water supply

Publication Alerts: