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Area: 5888268 km2
Brazil; Peru; Suriname; France; Colombia; Guyana; Bolivia; Venezuela; Ecuador
Santa Cruz; Manaus; La Paz
HydroBasin Level:
Baseline Water Stress:
Water Quality Stress:
Sanitation Access Stress:
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Quick Info

3.53 out of 5
WWF Country Risk Score
2 out of 248 Countries
WWF Country Rank
Total Organizations: 4
Total Projects: 2
Priority SDGs: Increase Access to Water, Sanitation, Hygiene (SDG 6.1 & 6.2)
Water Quality (SDG 6.3)
Water Use Efficiency (SDG 6.4)
Protect and Restore Ecosystems (SDG 6.6)
International Cooperation and Capacity Building (SDG 6.a)
Sustainable Production (SDG 12.4)
Priority Regions: Amu Darya
Priority Industries: Power generation
Organization Types:
NGO / Civil Society
International Organization
Profile Completion: 82%

Water-Related Challenge Costs

Total annual estimated cost to address all water-related challenges: $2,555,317,704.00

Share of total annual estimated cost to address each individual challenge (2015 $USD):

  • Access to Drinking Water: $427,291,037.00 - [17%]
  • Access to Sanitation: $369,548,386.00 - [14%]
  • Industrial Pollution: $4,183,430.00 - [0%]
  • Agricultural Pollution: $37,959,330.00 - [1%]
  • Water Scarcity: $1,290,449,236.00 - [51%]
  • Water Management: $425,886,284.00 - [17%]

For more about this data, see information on WRI’s Achieving Abundance dataset here.

Water Challenges

As reported by organizations on the Hub.

No challenges found.

Country Overview

1.1.1.WATER RESOURCES Based on the hydrographic systems, the country can be divided into four zones: a)the northern basin (24 per cent of the territory), with the Amu Darya and its tributaries (14 per cent), which drain towards the Aral sea, and the rivers of northern Afghanistan (10 per cent), which disappear within the country before joining the Amu Darya; b)the western region (12 per cent), consisting of the Hari Rud river basin (6 per cent) and the Murgab river basin (6 per cent), both rivers disappearing in Turkmenistan; c)the south-western basin (52 per cent), with the Helmand river flowing towards the Sistan swamps, located on the border of Iran and Afghanistan. In 1972, a document was signed between Afghanistan and Iran to allocate a discharge of 26m3/s of Helmand river water to Iran all year round; d)the eastern Kabul basin (12 per cent), which is the only river system having an outlet to the sea, joining the Indus at Attock in Pakistan. Internal renewable water resources are estimated at 55 km³/year. The Kunar river, which originates in Pakistan, crosses the border with an average annual flow of 10 km³ and joins the Kabul river at Jalalabad about 180 km further downstream. The Kabul river flows again into Pakistan 80 km further downstream.

1.1.2.WATER USE Total water withdrawal was estimated at 26.11km³ in 1987, of which 99 per cent was for agricultural purposes. Recently, there has been a large increase in groundwater use in some provinces. In 1986, there were two dams higher than 15m. The installed capacity of the hydroelectric plants was 281MW in 1992, which is about 70 per cent of the total installed capacity. There is considerable potential for the generation of hydropower, by both large dams and microhydropower stations.

1.2.WATER QUALITY, ECOSYSTEMS AND HUMAN HEALTH Due to the increasing use of groundwater in recent years, there is a risk of over-exploitation and depletion in the absence of regulating and licensing authorities, which in some places might lead to the drying out of kareze or qanats, springs and wells that depend on the same water sources. Other environmental problems include: limited natural fresh water resources; inadequate supplies of potable water; soil degradation; overgrazing; deforestation (much of the remaining forests are being cut down for fuel and building materials); desertification; air and water pollution. Nationwide, the majority of Afghan households do not have access to safe drinking water. Because of unsafe sanitary facilities, water contamination is a major issue in Afghanistan. Many water sources are contaminated with harmful bacteria such as E.coli which sickens and kills many people, especially children and the elderly. Valuable water resources are polluted as a result of the disposal of industrial and domestic liquid wastes. It's common for household discharge and street waste to end up in streams. Moreover, in some bodies of water, the proportions of hazardous chemicals fail hygiene standards. Even in the capital, Kabul, there are places where the water quality is so poor that it is unsafe for consumption.


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Country Water Profile

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Organizations in Afghanistan

HYDROC is an association of independent consultants, -scientists and -engineers, providing water-related services through a network of national and international experts. Our concept uses the synergies of our combined expertise for the successful implementation of a variety of projects. Our … Learn More

About Us JAC (Jahed Agricultural and Construction Organization) was established in 2003 and was registered with the Ministry of the plan of Islamic Transitional Government of Afghanistan on 18.01.2003 with Registration Number of 975. The Core of JAC was Enthusiast … Learn More

The Pacific Institute envisions a world in which society, the economy, and the environment have the water they need to thrive now and in the future. In pursuit of this vision, the Institute creates and advances solutions to the world’s … Learn More

The necessary efforts to provide basic health services for all sections of society, providing facilities to ensure the health of children and mothers, creating grounds for the expansion of science and knowledge, and active participation in the economic growth and … Learn More

Projects in Afghanistan

Community Engagement Programme, Nestlé has established seven drinking water facilities near our factories, providing clean water to approximately 35000 people. At least 5000 people now have access to clean drinking water, and the health of local children has measurably improved. … Learn More

Project WET is currently active in more than 75 countries around the world through a network of partner organizations that range from small NGOs to major international corporations and organizations. We only go where we’re invited! We work with our … Learn More

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