Surficial Water Management in Afghanistan; Its Opportunities and challenges
On Thursday, December 13, 2018 a Conference on ‘Opportunities and Challenges; Surficial Water Management in Afghanistan’ was organized by the Engineering Department – Kateb University. The speakers of the event were; Engineer Ali Ahmad Usmani, the Former Minister of Energy and Water, Professor Najeb Aqa Fahim, Professor at Kabul University & Minister of Government for Nature Disaster Affairs, Dr. Ebrahim Jafari, Member at the Network for Supervision of Natural Resources and Environment, Board Member of International Trade in Afghanistan and Head of Think Tank Mine in Afghanistan, Dr. Abdul Qayoum, Professor and Head of Water Resources Study Center. The event aimed to introduce the Engineering Department students with the Surficial Water and its current situation in Afghanistan.
Initially, Engineer Ali Ahmad Usmani discussed Afghanistan Water; Technical Status Review. Engineer Usmani believed that water is the most important need of living beings and our lives are dependent on it. Water can make us civilized or can be the cause of subversion. Environment, Energy Production and Sustainable Economic Growth; all belong to water management”. He added that water even effects a nation’s security, diplomacy and the national interests of a nation. Water can be the cause of good or bad diplomatic relationships among countries causing collaborations and friendship and also conflict and competition. Engineering Usmani also pointed toward water crisis being the third largest in the world. Moreover, he pointed toward a report received based on data from last 40 years that estimated around 57 billion cubin meters water presence per year, but unfortunately the last years report shows a decrease of around 14% that is 49 cubic meters. “This show crisis”, he added, ‘Unless we manage our water system properly, we will soon face shortage of water”.
The second speaker, Dr. Abdul Qayoum Karim pointed on drought of a country. According to him, “Increase and decrease of water level depends on climate and weather of a country, however according to meteorologist the reason of drought in an area is dryness and lack of moisture.” He added, “In Afghanistan, economic growth is dependent on agriculture. And if due to improper water management system, agriculture is not supported, soon we will face a drought. ”
Toward the end of the training, the last speaker, Dr. Najeb Aqa Fahim, discussed about the rights of water in Afghanistan and Marine status, which is the Helmand River. He pointed towards the relationship of Afghanistan and its neighbors on water sharing. Besides, he shared his experience of the shortage of water in Badghis, and the difficult situation that people are facing due to it. Mr. Fahim said that if the government does not design a proper water management system, then its existential philosophy will be questioned. The Helmand River is indeed a large one, but people over there do not have proper access to water, because of no water management system. Finally, he emphasized on the important of having a sustainable and useful water management system which if existed could help us provide water to Zahedan and Kerman.