Officials from the Ministry of Energy and Water on Sunday raised concern over water resources in the country and said the total amount of running and underground water had dropped significantly in the past few years.
According to ministry statistics, the total volume until a few years ago had been 76 billion cubic meters but this had dropped by 10 billion cubic meters in recent times.
The ministry officials said the drop in water was extremely worrying and that if the situation continues – with people using too much water – the water resources will drop another five billion cubic meters within the next five years.
According to the ministry, climate change and the over usage of water by people are the reasons for the drop in water levels.
The ministry also said due to the daily overuse of underground water, there is now only 17 billion cubic meters of underground water compared to 18 billion cubic meters in the past.
“If the situation continues in this way, by 2030 we will face a lack of water in our river basins and we will also face a lack of underground water,” head of water management department of energy and water ministry Sultan Mahmoud Mahmoudi said.
A number of economic analysts meanwhile said due to the lack of proper planning in water management and the over usage of underground water, Afghanistan will face a water crisisin the coming years.
“We have lots of problems in this regard. Currently people overuse water and no one takes care of the situation,” economic lecturer at Kabul University Sayed Massoud said.
Afghanistan has five river basins and each year, billions of cubic meters of water runs to neighboring countries freely.
According to the energy and water ministry, out of the five major rivers in the country, Kabul River has lost over three billion cubic meters of water, Helmand River is down by over two billion cubic meters of water and Amu River has lost two billion cubic meters of water. These three rivers have lost the most water.
Meanwhile, the ministry of agriculture, irrigation and livestock has said hundreds of acres of land is uncultivated due to the lack of water.