Afghanistan Water Resources Policy in Central Asia

  • Igor S. ZonnEmail author
  • Aleksandr V. Semenov
  • Alla V. Nikonorova
  • Vladimir G. Egorov
Part of the The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry book series (HEC, volume 85)


The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is one of the riparian states of the Amu Darya, the major transboundary river in Central Asia that takes its origin here and further on forms the border with Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan. Afghanistan accounts for nearly 14% or 246 thousand km2 of the Aral Sea watershed area (1,771.5 thousand km2) where about 20% of the country’s population live. Considering the regional instability that still exists, the tasks formulated in Afghanistan concerning water resource development may be accomplished relying only on the use of the Amu Darya water potential rivaled by Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. In the recent three decades, the interests of Afghanistan in the water field have been simply ignored. Owing to the military conflict, Afghanistan has not been a party to agreements on transboundary water resource management, although this country is their potential participant.

After the political situation in Afghanistan gets stabilized, the economic development of this country will be targeted to ensuring its food security, first of all, by way of further growth of irrigated agricultural lands which invariably will demand more water intake from Amu Darya that has been already overexploited. This will worsen the situation with water supply in the Central Asian countries which will become a source of trouble and will have serious implications for the relations of Afghanistan with other Central Asian states. In the future the joint use of Afghan river flows will be one of the most complicated challenges for interstate and, primarily, economic relations.


Afghanistan Conflict of interests Interstate relations Irrigation Water resources 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Igor S. Zonn
    • 1
    Email author
  • Aleksandr V. Semenov
    • 2
  • Alla V. Nikonorova
    • 2
  • Vladimir G. Egorov
    • 3
  1. 1.Engineering Research Production Center for Water Management, Land Reclamation and Ecology “Soyuzvodproject,”MoscowRussia
  2. 2.S.Yu. Witte Moscow UniversityMoscowRussia
  3. 3.G.V. Plekhanov Russian Economic UniversityMoscowRussia

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