Contact Us  |  Search  
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research
Development, Security, and Cooperation
Policy and Global Affairs
Home About Us For Applicants For Grant Recipients Funded Projects Email Updates
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: September 2017 - November 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 this reporting period covering January to March, 2019, the team made progress on their post-processing activities and addressing the deficiencies of the model surrounding forested areas in the western part of the Kabul River Basin. Some part of the simulation was repeated to improve its accuracy and the high resolution river network model was presented at the CAWA Conference was shared with the public through IMMAP online portal. The team also received comments on the paper submitted to the international journal and the PI and the Co-PI worked on revisions with regard to the feedback. Meanwhile, the team drafted a second journal paper about the floodplain methodology.

The project team organized a 12 days flood early warning and simulation workshop for Engineering Department students of Salam University. The workshop contained lectures about floods (causes, causalities, influencing factors, types, and flood data), flood protection measures, flood risk assessment, safety measures during the flood and early warning systems applicable in Afghanistan. The practical session included application of the IMMAP early warning system for Afghanistan, early warnings from FEWS-NET, Global Forecast System (GFS) of the US National Weather Service (NWS) and Meteorological Department of Afghanistan. These sources enabled the students to be prepared for floods prior to the flood happening. Later, the design flood and flood return period estimation using HEC-SSP software, flood simulation using GIS and HEC-RAS software, and their calibration using open source satellite images were taught. The participant appreciated the early warning systems and overall workshop content.

In the coming months the co-PI plans to participate in the ‘Enhanced Engagement in Research on AF-PAK Trans-Boundary Water” and the PI will participate in the WEF - Nexus workshop in Tashkent later on. The team will finalize the floodplain model and submit it to the IMMAP portal for sharing with the public. The team will answer the comments received from the journal about the first paper and will continue working on the second journal paper. Furthermore, for more improvement of the first paper, the data of water year 2018 will be added into the calculations.

Back to PEER Cycle 5 Grant Recipients