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Area: 5888268 km2
Brazil; Peru; Suriname; France; Colombia; Guyana; Bolivia; Venezuela; Ecuador
Santa Cruz; Manaus; La Paz
HydroBasin Level:
Baseline Water Stress:
Water Quality Stress:
Sanitation Access Stress:
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City & Country

Quick Info

3.53 out of 5
WWF Country Risk Score
2 out of 248 Countries
WWF Country Rank
Total Organizations: 2
Total Projects: 2
Priority SDGs: Increase Access to Water, Sanitation, Hygiene (SDG 6.1 & 6.2)
Water Quality (SDG 6.3)
Water Use Efficiency (SDG 6.4)
Protect and Restore Ecosystems (SDG 6.6)
International Cooperation and Capacity Building (SDG 6.a)
Sustainable Production (SDG 12.4)
Priority Regions: Amu Darya
Priority Industries: Power generation
Organization Types:
International Organization
NGO / Civil Society
Profile Completion: 100%

Water-Related Challenge Costs

Total annual estimated cost to address all water-related challenges: $2,555,317,704.00

Share of total annual estimated cost to address each individual challenge (2015 $USD):

  • Access to Drinking Water: $427,291,037.00 - [17%]
  • Access to Sanitation: $369,548,386.00 - [14%]
  • Industrial Pollution: $4,183,430.00 - [0%]
  • Agricultural Pollution: $37,959,330.00 - [1%]
  • Water Scarcity: $1,290,449,236.00 - [51%]
  • Water Management: $425,886,284.00 - [17%]

For more about this data, see information on WRI’s Achieving Abundance dataset here.

Water Challenges

As reported by organizations on the Hub.

No challenges found.

Country Overview

1.1.1.WATER RESOURCES Based on the hydrographic systems, the country can be divided into four zones: a)the northern basin (24 per cent of the territory), with the Amu Darya and its tributaries (14 per cent), which drain towards the Aral sea, and the rivers of northern Afghanistan (10 per cent), which disappear within the country before joining the Amu Darya; b)the western region (12 per cent), consisting of the Hari Rud river basin (6 per cent) and the Murgab river basin (6 per cent), both rivers disappearing in Turkmenistan; c)the south-western basin (52 per cent), with the Helmand river flowing towards the Sistan swamps, located on the border of Iran and Afghanistan. In 1972, a document was signed between Afghanistan and Iran to allocate a discharge of 26m3/s of Helmand river water to Iran all year round; d)the eastern Kabul basin (12 per cent), which is the only river system having an outlet to the sea, joining the Indus at Attock in Pakistan. Internal renewable water resources are estimated at 55 km³/year. The Kunar river, which originates in Pakistan, crosses the border with an average annual flow of 10 km³ and joins the Kabul river at Jalalabad about 180 km further downstream. The Kabul river flows again into Pakistan 80 km further downstream.

1.1.2.WATER USE Total water withdrawal was estimated at 26.11km³ in 1987, of which 99 per cent was for agricultural purposes. Recently, there has been a large increase in groundwater use in some provinces. In 1986, there were two dams higher than 15m. The installed capacity of the hydroelectric plants was 281MW in 1992, which is about 70 per cent of the total installed capacity. There is considerable potential for the generation of hydropower, by both large dams and microhydropower stations.

1.2.WATER QUALITY, ECOSYSTEMS AND HUMAN HEALTH Due to the increasing use of groundwater in recent years, there is a risk of over-exploitation and depletion in the absence of regulating and licensing authorities, which in some places might lead to the drying out of kareze or qanats, springs and wells that depend on the same water sources. Other environmental problems include: limited natural fresh water resources; inadequate supplies of potable water; soil degradation; overgrazing; deforestation (much of the remaining forests are being cut down for fuel and building materials); desertification; air and water pollution. Nationwide, the majority of Afghan households do not have access to safe drinking water. Because of unsafe sanitary facilities, water contamination is a major issue in Afghanistan. Many water sources are contaminated with harmful bacteria such as E.coli which sickens and kills many people, especially children and the elderly. Valuable water resources are polluted as a result of the disposal of industrial and domestic liquid wastes. It's common for household discharge and street waste to end up in streams. Moreover, in some bodies of water, the proportions of hazardous chemicals fail hygiene standards. Even in the capital, Kabul, there are places where the water quality is so poor that it is unsafe for consumption.


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Country Water Profile

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Organizations in Afghanistan

HYDROC is an association of independent consultants, -scientists and -engineers, providing water-related services through a network of national and international experts. Our concept uses the synergies of our combined expertise for the successful implementation of a variety of projects. Our … Learn More

About Us JAC (Jahed Agricultural and Construction Organization) was established in 2003 and was registered with the Ministry of the plan of Islamic Transitional Government of Afghanistan on 18.01.2003 with Registration Number of 975. The Core of JAC was Enthusiast … Learn More

Projects in Afghanistan

Community Engagement Programme, Nestlé has established seven drinking water facilities near our factories, providing clean water to approximately 35000 people. At least 5000 people now have access to clean drinking water, and the health of local children has measurably improved. … Learn More

Project WET is currently active in more than 75 countries around the world through a network of partner organizations that range from small NGOs to major international corporations and organizations. We only go where we’re invited! We work with our … Learn More

Suggested Resources

View the full list of 300+ resources at the Water Stewardship Toolbox

With special attention to resources for utilities, this page lists relevant guidance around water and COVID-19. Learn More

Developers: American Water Works Association

This page seeks to help water sector professionals keep informed on the attributions of the COVID-19 virus and any measures needed to protect both workers and public health, in general. Learn More

In this Nature feature, Johan Rockstrom and co-authors argue that identifying and quantifying planetary boundaries that must not be transgressed could help prevent human activities from causing unacceptable environmental change. Learn More

Inform and strengthen your company’s water management strategies and allow your investors to evaluate current water management activities against detailed definitions of leading practice. Learn More

Developers: Ceres

This report presents analysis of the response data from a sample of 783 of the world’s largest publicly listed companies. The report is aimed at companies and investors seeking to understand how they can play their part in delivering a … Learn More

The Toolbox connects your business to the latest tools, guidance, case studies, datasets, and more most relevant to you based on your circumstances and interests. It features more than 250+ resources from dozens of organizations and is updated every week. Learn More

Developers: CEO Water Mandate, Pacific Institute

Includes Immediate steps, ongoing health measures that can be taken, and responsible business practice Learn More

Based on the major combat guidelines set by the São Paulo State Government, Sabesp is fully engaged to endure COVID-19 pandemic within its operation area, which means 374 municipalities located throughout São Paulo state and home to about 28 million … Learn More

Developers: Sabesp

Checklist for restoring water quality in buildings left unused for a long duration. Learn More

Developers: EPA Office of Wastewater Management

Best practices- Resources- Webinars on WASH/COVID-19 topics. Learn More

The Global Water Footprint Assessment Standard can be used to provide comparable quantification and robust analytics, helping corporations, governments, and researchers manage water resources and achieve greater water sustainability. Learn More

The Committee designed this document to guide the food industry and advise its sponsoring agencies in the implementation of HACCP systems. Learn More

Adapting to climate change, coupled with the need to address aging infrastructure, population growth, and degraded ecosystems, requires significant investment in natural and built water systems. These investments present a significant opportunity to support not only water, but to provide … Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

To help our partners in responding to this health crisis in their countries, we have compiled different resources and tools around COVID-19 and WASH, which include documents, videos, social media materials with messages on public health, webinar recordings, etc. Learn More

How to ensure the safety of staff and maintaining water quality in buildings with little or no use. Learn More

With private enterprises playing a critical role in contributing to the safety of their staff, it is important to change some of their core operations. This guide is meant as a stepping point to begin reopening with safety as a … Learn More

How to ensure the safety of staff and maintaining water quality in buildings with little or no use. Learn More

The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Compass Business Tools inventory maps existing business tools against the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It allows you to explore commonly used business tools that may be useful when assessing your organization’s impact on the SDGs. Learn More

This report explores the possibilities of scaling a circular economy, given the reality of the global economy and the complexity of multi-tier supply chains. Learn More

Developers: World Economic Forum

ILO Sectoral Policies and Governance and Tripartism Departments present four self-training modules, which adapt existing ILO training tools on OSH to provide governments, workers and employers with the necessary skills to implement the general principles contained in relevant ILO instruments. … Learn More

Companies are increasingly setting and pursing ‘water balance targets’ as part of their water stewardship strategies. The seeming simplicity of balance goals can be attractive – “we will restore a volume of water equal to the amount our business consumes.” … Learn More

Developers: WWF

The Water Risk Filter can be used to assess and respond to water related risks for your own operations, suppliers, or growth plans. Learn More

Developers: WWF

Safely managed water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services are an essential part of preventing and protecting human health during infectious disease outbreaks, including the current COVID-19 pandemic. Learn More

WBCSD Learn More

Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) Learn More

CEO Water Mandate; Water Witness International; WaterAid; WBCSD Learn More

IPIECA Learn More

Ecolab Learn More

WBCSD Learn More

UN Water Learn More

UNICEF; WHO Learn More

River Threat Netwrok Learn More

Swedish Textile Water Initiative Learn More

Alliance for Water Stewardship Learn More

WaterAid Learn More

CEO Water Mandate Learn More

McKinsey Learn More

Toilet Board Coalition Learn More

Conservation International Learn More

UNEP Learn More

UN Water Learn More

AT&T; EDF; Global Environmental Management Institute (GEMI) Learn More

Leonardo Rodriguez
Primary Contact  


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