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Afghanistan: Preparing the Kabul Managed Aquifer Recharge Project

Sovereign (Public) Project | 48440-002 Status: Active

The PPTA is intended to develop pilot recharge systems, and to test the feasibility of different recharge options including the use of recharge basins, injection wells, contour banking and trenches. Assessment and ranking of different recharge options has not been considered in Afghanistan previously. The findings of pilot-testing will be used to compare MAR with alternative solutions to water problems in the Kabul basin.

No significant environmental risks have been identified for the pilot program. Aquifer levels will be carefully monitored in the pilot areas through reference wells. Siltation in stilling ponds and recharge basins is expected will be managed by defining maximum sediment loads for water diversion from rivers, as well as routine cleaning programs.

Project Details

Project Officer
Frank Radstake Central and West Asia Department Request for information
Country
  • Afghanistan
Modality
  • Technical Assistance
 
Project Name Preparing the Kabul Managed Aquifer Recharge Project
Project Number 48440-002
Country Afghanistan
Project Status Active
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Technical Assistance
Source of Funding / Amount
TA 8969-AFG: Kabul Managed Aquifer Recharge Project
Afghanistan Infrastructure Trust Fund US$ 7.60 million
Strategic Agendas Environmentally sustainable growth
Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change Gender Equity and Mainstreaming
Knowledge solutions
Partnerships
Sector / Subsector

Agriculture and Natural Resources / Agriculture, natural resources and rural development

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming Some gender elements
Description

The PPTA is intended to develop pilot recharge systems, and to test the feasibility of different recharge options including the use of recharge basins, injection wells, contour banking and trenches. Assessment and ranking of different recharge options has not been considered in Afghanistan previously. The findings of pilot-testing will be used to compare MAR with alternative solutions to water problems in the Kabul basin.

No significant environmental risks have been identified for the pilot program. Aquifer levels will be carefully monitored in the pilot areas through reference wells. Siltation in stilling ponds and recharge basins is expected will be managed by defining maximum sediment loads for water diversion from rivers, as well as routine cleaning programs.

A feasibility study on MAR will be prepared to examine the technical, environmental, economic, social, health and water quality aspects of MAR for the Kabul Basin. The feasibility study will draw on the experience of the pilot program. On completion, the feasibility study will be reviewed by external peer reviewers, and provided that the study's conclusions are positive, and contingent on approval by the government and ADB, a detailed design for a larger MAR project designed to supplement greater Kabul drinking and agricultural water supplies will be prepared. The larger program offers opportunity to restore wetlands and lakes which would provide significant environmental benefits.

The original cost of this PPTA was $7.6 million. On 6 July 2017, a request to cancel the surplus fund of $0.6 million was approved. As a result of the cancellation, the total TA amount is now $7 million.

Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

The Kabul Basin is the most important river basin of Afghanistan. It accounts for 35% of the country's population, including half of the urban population. Kabul is the fifth fastest growing city in the world. Its population in mid-2014 is estimated at 4.5 million and is expected to increase to about 8 million by 2050. A large majority of residents are undersupplied with water, averaging about 20 liters per capita per day (LPCD), compared to a desirable level of a minimum of 80 LPCD, and a rate of over 200 LPCD for water piped to homes in developed countries.

Kabul currently relies on groundwater from four aquifers in the Logar-Upper Kabul river basin for potable drinking water as well as for peri-urban agriculture. Due to population increase and unregulated construction of deep tubewells, groundwater levels have fallen. A study by the US Geological Survey between 2004 and 2012 showed that groundwater levels in Kabul city had fallen by an average of 1.5 meters/year during 2008 2012. The main reason is that the groundwater extraction rate is faster than the recharge rate. As the water-tables fall, the costs of pumping water and digging, drilling or deepening wells, also rise. With as per capita water demand expected to double over the next 15 -20 years, combined with population increases, urban water supplies are under increasing pressure. Similar to a reservoir, managed water recharge (MAR) would take advantage of water supplies available during the rapid snowmelt and rainy seasons and store it for future use, increasing the annual volume of underground water recharge. MAR will help stabilize or raise groundwater levels, improving the supply and quality of potable water and making Kabul urban water supplies more drought resistant.

Managed aquifer recharge (MAR) takes advantage of water supplies available during the snowmelt and rainy seasons when river flows through Kabul are 15 times greater than in the dry season, and augments aquifer recharge for future use. MAR can help stabilize or raise shallow groundwater levels, improving the availability of primary water supplies for potable use and making Kabul urban water supplies more secure. In addition, MAR has the potential to support the development of commercial well-fields to supply water to the piped water network. However, groundwater often suffers from microbial and chemical pollutants, and requires treatment to meet potable water standards.

MAR can provide a low-cost solution to improve urban, rural, and agricultural water supplies by increasing annual recharge to groundwater storage. The technology is in use in numerous countries, but is new to Afghanistan. In the urban context, water quality is of paramount importance, and education, water quality monitoring, and appropriate technologies are important to help achieve potable water quality.

Impact Proper management of existing water and other natural resources
Project Outcome
Description of Outcome Increased groundwater availability for Kabul
Progress Toward Outcome The main consulting package being advertised, with EOI submission deadline of 2 April 2016.
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

Kabul basin MAR infrastructure operational

Capacity of the communities and staff developed in water monitoring and management

Aquifer protection zones performing

Legislative and regulatory reforms available

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)
Geographical Location Kabul
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design The PPTA will be administered by CWER. An inception report was prepared and submitted by the consultants in July 2017. Thereafter, six monthly reports will be prepared to advise the client and ADB of progress. Field inspection of the pilot area(s) will be undertaken regularly when construction of demonstration has commenced.
During Project Implementation Good practices and lessons learned will be communicated through the capacity building component and second phase of output 3. An inception workshop will be held to present the approach and methodology to all stakeholders, regular field day events will keep stakeholders informed of progress and developments, and workshops will present the feasibility study, findings from the pilot area(s), and detailed design reports.
Business Opportunities
Consulting Services The consultants will be engaged through an international firm, associated with a national firm, by ADB in accordance with its Guidelines on the Use of Consultants (2013, as amended from time to time). The TA will use a performance-based consulting contract with an estimated value of $6.45 million. Key positions are detailed in Table A3.2, with an estimated 87 person-months of international consulting services and 59 person-months of national consultants for the key positions. It is anticipated that a total of 132 person-months of international consulting services and 204 person-months of national consultants will be required. Consultant selection will be through quality- and cost-based selection at a ratio of 90:10 technical:financial. Subject to ADB approval, the consultant firm will be responsible for the procurement and management of (i) small-scale civil works associated with the pilot projects; and (ii) test bore drilling services, as required, both using shopping method.
Responsible ADB Officer Frank Radstake
Responsible ADB Department Central and West Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Environment, Natural Resources & Agriculture Division, CWRD
Executing Agencies
Ministry of Finance
Pashtunistan Watt,
Kabul,
Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
Timetable
Concept Clearance -
Fact Finding -
MRM -
Approval 01 Oct 2015
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 12 Sep 2019

TA 8969-AFG

Milestones
Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
01 Oct 2015 21 Nov 2015 21 Nov 2015 31 Dec 2018 30 Jun 2021 -
Financing Plan/TA Utilization Cumulative Disbursements
ADB Cofinancing Counterpart Total Date Amount
Gov Beneficiaries Project Sponsor Others
0.00 7,600,000.00 200,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 7,800,000.00 01 Oct 2015 2,805,356.81

Project Data Sheets (PDS) contain summary information on the project or program. Because the PDS is a work in progress, some information may not be included in its initial version but will be added as it becomes available. Information about proposed projects is tentative and indicative.

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Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation

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Related Publications

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Tenders

No tenders for this project were found.

Contracts Awarded

Contract Title Approval Number Contract Date Contractor Contractor Address Executing Agency Contract Description Total Contract Amount (US$) Contract Amount Financed by ADB (US$)
Project Preparatory Technical Assistance 8969 16 Dec 2016 Landell Mills Limited (United Kingdom) in Association with Landell Mills Ltd Afghanistan BRYER ASH BUSINESS PARK BRADFORD ROAD, TROWBRIDGE WILTSHIRE BA14 8HE, UNITED KINGDOM Ministry of Finance 6,689,578.00

Procurement Plan

None currently available.