The water situation is changing in Afghanistan due to several factors: increasing population, the overexploitation and mismanagement of water resources, groundwater depletion and contamination, and climate change.
Given growing water scarcity and pollution, increasing numbers of residents in Kabul city are struggling to provide enough safe water for their households. Many are forced to turn to the expanding private water business for their needs: either by paying for water from mobile water tankers, subscribing to local private water supply companies or buying bottled “mineral water.” Others incur travel costs to get water from public taps or pay for purifiers to filter contaminated water from their wells. The mushrooming private water business is expected to expand even further given the country’s changing water context as a result of climate change, population growth and government negligence in terms of prevention and regulation. AAN researcher Said Reza Kazemi presents his observations and conversations with households and water stakeholders. He concludes that if these challenges are not addressed, the implications of a potential water crisis are likely to be dire.