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Cycle 5 (2015 Deadline)

Determination of flood magnitude projection, causes, vulnerable areas and its solutions: A cause study of Kabul River basin

PI: Mohammad Assem Mayar (  and, Organization of Skill Development and Social Services (OSDSS)
U.S. Partner: Jonathan Nelson, U.S. Geological Survey
Project Dates: February 2017 - January 2019

Project Overview:

Floods are one of the most destructive natural disasters on the earth, and the frequency of flood events has rapidly increased worldwide. Various models for quantifying flood discharge have been developed, but they require significant data input and these data are mostly not available or accurately represented, especially in developing countries. Thus, this project will address the flood model challenge. This study contains a combination of applied and scientific research and is divided into two components. In the applied component, the research team will work to find flood magnitude trends, causes, and vulnerable locations, and propose a reasonable solution for this problem in the Kabul River Basin. The second component is focused on the scientific problem of hydrologic models. This element of the study involves the development of a novel and easy approach for flood flow computation using lumped hydrologic models. The U.S. partner, Dr. Nelson, will cooperate on the effort and may incorporate it into a model (iRIC) that he is developing with U.S. Geological Survey support.

The analyses resulting from this project should provide a good base for scientific and engineering modeling of Afghan river basins. The study will provide datasets for water-related projects and programs in Afghanistan, particularly those related to transboundary water resource management. Other study results will include engineering information regarding the quantity of Afghan water resources for use in policy formulation and decision making.

This work supports USAID goals of building capacity in research and its integration with policy in Afghanistan. This study will be one of the first efforts in hydrologic and hydraulic engineering that is led by Afghan scientists in an academic environment. Students from public and private Afghan universities will actively participate, thereby expanding their scientific and engineering knowledge and modeling skills. During project implementation, several training courses, workshops, and conferences will be conducted for Afghan university students, especially for Kabul Polytechnic University students in the Master's program on Water Resource and Environmental Engineering, as well as Afghan government water sector employees, who will have the opportunity to complete internships on the project. Within this internship program, participants will be exposed to basic skills required for current research, research methodology, new challenges in the water sector, and techniques for writing proposals and identifying funding sources. Recommendations will also be shared with public and private university authorities for curricula development purposes.

Summary of Recent Activities:

5-033 Laghman Seminar
Participants in the winter 2017 Laghman Workshop (Photo courtesy of Dr. Mayar).
During the third reporting period, the PEER team completed data quality control, flow projection and frequency analyses. The PI and Co-PI are also drafting their first research paper on the project and have shared it with the USG-support partner for input. Afterwards, the paper will be submitted to an international peer-reviewed journal. Besides, the team is making steady progress in their work on floodplain delineation: most of the required input layers are completed and a trail simulation has already been conducted.

In addition, the PEER team held a meeting with private and non-governmental organizations to explore capacity building workshops and agreed to share project results through a reliable online platform. The parties appreciated the project work and expressed their interest in cooperating with the team. Furthermore, the co-PI, Mr. Asady presented the research results in the Afghan – PAK water consultation meeting in Almaty Kazakhstan.

In the upcoming months, the project team plans to finalize the floodplain simulation and calibration. The PI and Co-PI will also submit their first joint paper on the PEER project to a peer-reviewed journal. Planning for capacity building workshops is also underway.

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