Surface Groundwater Interaction in the Kabul Region Basin

Groundwater—the main water supply source for Kabul residents—has been extensively exploited in the past 2 decades, causing large drawdowns. While the imbalance between groundwater recharge and use is considered a key driver of the decline, the rapid increase in urbanisation has further limited the marginal share of regeneration from the land surface; hence, rivers and streams remain the only recharge sources.

This research quantifies the groundwater recharge rates in central Kabul, upper Kabul/Paghman, Logar, Shamali and Panjsher sub-basins. The study employs three approaches: (i) basin-scale water budget balance; (ii) river reach length water balance (RLWB); and (iii) groundwater mounding (GWM) using Hantush’s 1967 groundwater growth equation to estimate the water surplus/deficit, transmission losses through riverbeds and groundwater recharge rates, respectively.


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