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Water Resources: Research and Assessment

Water resources of Afghanistan: General Information

Surface Water

Hydrological Study

Surface Water Resources

Hydrogeology and Groundwater


Rivers of Afghanistan

Hydrological Stations

Water-quality data for the Kabul Basin (July 2004 - July 2007)

Part 1 [pdf, 206 kB]

Part 2 [pdf, 56 kB]

Glaciers in the Amudarya basin [pdf, 518 kB]

Glaciers in the Indus Basin [pdf, 340 kB]

Glaciers in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan Region [pdf, 6,02 MB]

Knowledge Base

General Country Information [+]

Afghanistan, a country of mountains and deserts, is situated in the south-western part of Central Asia (geographic values - 60 30' - 75 50' of eastern longitude, and 29 30' - 38 30' of northern latitude). The country territory is 652.2 thousand sq. km. Population is around 18.6 million people (by 1996). Capital city - Kabul with the population of 1.7 million people (by 1986).

The climate is continental and dry. Though the local climatic conditions may vary considerably depending on the sea level, slopes exposition and so on, Afghanistan is located in the same latitude as the countries of the southern Mediterranean coast: Tunis, Marokko, Algiers. They have similarities of a precipitation regime - during the coldest time of the year and at high temperatures of a dry cloudless summer. Yet winters can be very cold in Afghanistan, and not only in the mountains but also in the valleys: the country, barred by the chains of the border mountains against the warm air streams from the south, is at the same time vulnerable to the cold arctic air winds of the north. Average temperatures are as follows: January: 0 to 8 C in the valley; -20 C in the highlands; July: 24 to 32 C in the valleys; 0 to 10 C in the highlands. The annual level of precipitation is 200-400 mm; in the mountains it reaches 800 mm.

Administrative - territorial division: 29 provinces (viloyatov) and 2 districts of the central submission. Capital - Kabul. The chief of state - President.

Afghanistan is mountain country. From Northeast on a Southwest is stretched of Gindukush, in north both South - plain and plateau.

It is usually accepted to subdivide Gindukush into East and Western (Central), spending border on pass Andguman. In extreme East of Gindukush is similar to East of Pamir: the rather low and smoothly rising mountain ridges cutting by wide river valleys, which bottom lay at height 3000-4000 m above a sea level. Further, to West, slopes of an extensive raising East of Gingukush is deep cutting meridian by valleys, that results in isolation around - the clock of mountain circuits of Afghan's Badakhshan and Nuristan.

The main peaks of East Gindukush, combined of granites, achieve more than 6000 m. Here there is a best point of Afghanistan - mountain Naushak (7455 m).

The basic rivers - Amudarya, Murgab, Gerirud, Gilmend, Kabul. The rivers of the country, on a significant extent proceeding in mountain areas, have the large stocks of hydraulic power. Opposite, for navigation the river network almost has no importance. In mountains of the river strongly rough, and on plains of their water understand on irrigation.

Afghanistan is agrarian country. In an agriculture more than 1/3 process able grounds - irrigation. Grain (mainly wheat, and also corn, barley, rice), technical (cotton-plant, oils, sugar beet, sugar reed) culture. Truck gardening, melons culture, pomicultire and viniculture. Population (1990, millions.): sheep 13,5, including astrakhans 4,5 (one of the first places in the world on an educe of astrakhan fur), large horned cattle 1,6, goat 2,1 camels; poultry. Production of natural gas, petroleum. An industry: textile, chemical, food relish and others. Is advanced carpet making. Manufacture of the electric power 1128 millions kVt/h (1990). Length of motorways (1988) 19200 km, iron roads of 10 km. Export: natural gas, arid fruit, carpets, astrakhan fur and others. The basic foreign trade partners: the countries of CIS, Japan, Pakistan, Czechia, Slovakia, India and others. Monetary unit - afghany.