RUSLE-based soil erosion assessment and erosion control evaluation in the Kabul Watershed

Samiullah Patyal

Hydraulic Structures Engineering Department, Kabul Polytechnic University, Kabul, Afghanistan

E-mail: spatyal65@gmail.com

https://doi.org/10.29258/CAJWR/2022-R1.v8-1/143-159.eng

Research article

Abstract

 

The development and conservation of water and soil in the Kabul River Basin are critical for ensuring its sustainable economic, social, and environmental progress. Since the watershed drains across the international borders into the Indus River Basin, it is key for both up- and downstream countries to thoroughly plan their resource development and management. Due to relief, soil and climatic conditions, as well as the recent deforestation the Kabul River Basin has been witnessing significant soil erosion by water, indicating the need for analyzing its specifics and deploying proper control measures. This study was carried out using the combination of the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) Model and GIS techniques to investigate the gross soil loss rates and their spatial distribution inside the target basin. Thus, the annual average soil loss rate was estimated at 15.1 tons/ha/year, pointing to severe local soil erosion. As to its spatial distribution, according to the study up to 99% of mean annual soil loss rates fell within the tolerable (0-5 tons/acre/year) category. Considering the soil loss rates, local topography, and community-based participatory approaches, the authors recommend conducting a further detailed diagnostic analysis to inform and support subsequent control measures such as deforestation prevention, construction of small check dams, terracing, trenching in hilly areas, revegetation (reforestation) of open- and grasslands, and rainwater harvesting.

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For citation: Patyal, S. (2022). RUSLE-based soil erosion assessment and erosion control evaluation in the Kabul Watershed. Central Asian Journal of Water Research, 8(1), 143–159. https://doi.org/10.29258/CAJWR/2022-R1.v8-1/143-159.eng

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Digital Elevation Model (DEM), Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE), terracing, trenches (trenching), watershed (basin)

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