Afghanistan Groundwater

Hydrogeology Department
Ministry of Energy and Water
Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

WAPECA Building, Airport Road, Kabul

At least 18 billion cubic meter of groundwater recharge takes place every year

Afghanistan is a landlocked country in central Asia with a total area of about 652,000 square kilometers. It is bordered by Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan to the north, China to the northeast, Pakistan to the east and south, and Iran to the west. Administratively, the country is divided into 34 provinces and 398 districts.

Afghanistan has a dry continental climate. Temperatures vary from - 10°C in winter to 34°C in summer. Ninety percent of the country’s annual precipitation occurs during the winter months between December and April, mostly falling as snow. In the summer months, Afghanistan receives mostly warm dry air from the north and northeast with very little precipitation. The amount of precipitation directly correlates with altitude. It varies from less than 100 mm/year at altitudes below 1000 m in the southern, northern and western parts of the country, to over 1000 mm/year at altitudes above 4000 m in the northeast. Total precipitation (snow and rain) of this country is about 180 billion m3/year

Afghanistan is characterized by its rugged terrain and an average elevation of 1,100 meters above sea level, ranging from 150 to 8,000 meters. About three-quarters of the territory consist of mountains and hills, while lowlands include scattered fertile valleys along the major rivers, and desert regions in the southern and southeastern part.

There is very little documentation on the groundwater development potential of the bedrock aquifer systems in Afghanistan. The yield potential of the crystalline rocks (granites, schist, gneiss, etc) is expected to be significantly lower than the unconsolidated aquifer systems in the country. The sedimentary and igneous rock units, which underlie large parts of the country may have development potential, but not yet explored in any detail.