Towards a policy for sustainable use of groundwater by non-governmental organisations in Afghanistan

Banks, D. and Soldal, O. (2002) Towards a policy for sustainable use of groundwater by non-governmental organisations in Afghanistan. Hydrogeology Journal, 10(3), pp. 377-392. (doi:10.1007/s10040-002-0203-y)

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Abstract

A 'first pass' groundwater management policy has been developed for use by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Afghanistan, designed to prevent derogation of existing traditional water sources, aquifer over-abstraction and chemical deterioration of soil and groundwater quality. Key elements include (1) continuing promotion of groundwater as a drinking water source, (2) a presumption against use of motorised pumps to abstract groundwater for irrigation unless other options (surface water, qanats) are not available, (3) the use of groundwater for irrigation as a temporary alternative to surface water (i.e. a strategy for drought survival) rather than as a long-term development policy, (4) limiting groundwater abstraction to a long-term average of 1 l s–1 km–2, (5) siting irrigation wells at least 500 m from other groundwater sources and (6) analysing irrigation groundwater for electrical conductivity, sodium absorption ratio, boron and residual sodium carbonate alkalinity. Analyses of these parameters indicate that groundwater from some areas is of dubious suitability for irrigation. In some villages and towns, groundwater contains elevated nitrate and faecal bacteria concentrations, probably derived from latrines, sewage or animal wastes.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Banks, Mr David
Authors: Banks, D., and Soldal, O.
Subjects:Q Science > QE Geology
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Systems Power and Energy
Journal Name:Hydrogeology Journal
ISSN:1431-2174
Published Online:08 May 2002

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