Sustainable Irrigation: Karez System in Afghanistan

Abdullah Azami, Jay Sagin, Sayed Hashmat Sadat, Hejratullah Hejran

Research Article


In Afghanistan, water is mostly used for agricultural purposes. The water supply chain requires updating to ensure its sustainability. Different irrigation methods – such as surface water based irrigation (via canals), groundwater based irrigation, and the Karez irrigation system – are applied across the country. Considering the compatibility of the Karez system with the environment, it can be deemed the most effective irrigation scheme, as it allows collecting a significant amount of groundwater and conveying it to land surface via sub-horizontal tunnels using gravity. This article analyzes Afghanistan’s Karez irrigation systems currently feeding water to over 170,000 ha of farmland with a potential to expand and become a component of sustainable water supply chain.

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How to cite: Azami, A., Sagin, J., Sadat, S. H., & Hejran, H. (2020). Sustainable Irrigation: Karez System in Afghanistan. Central Asian Journal of Water Research, 6(2), 1–18.

Afghanistan, agriculture, irrigation system, karez, sustainable water supply

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