Semester of Graduation

Spring 2018


Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Document Type



Decades of war and political instability, consecutive droughts, population increase and displacement, caused serious infrastructural damages to water resources of Afghanistan. The main source of water supply for people in Afghanistan is groundwater. However, over-exploitation of groundwater has led to groundwater level declines in most parts of the country. Kabul, the largest city of Afghanistan, is the capital city with a population of 4.5 million and the fifth fastest-growing city in the world. The city has observed groundwater level declines of 5-10 meters (m) since 1980. Decline of about 30 m has also been observed in one of the monitoring wells in the Kabul City. The groundwater level decline will considerably affect life, agriculture and industry in Kabul, Afghanistan.

This study proposes an artificial recharge of groundwater by surplus flow of the Kabul River in rainy season, as a management tool for the Kabul Basin, Afghanistan. A direct surface recharge method by means of a recharge basin is suggested to help natural recharge. Computer programs MODFLOW-2005, MODPATH 6 and Groundwater Modeling System (GMS) have been employed in this study. The objective of the study is to increase groundwater storage in the basin so as to reach the sustainable yield. Results indicate that a daily diversion of 75000 cubic meters per day (m3/d) from the Kabul River to the recharge basin during rainy season, increases the groundwater storage by an annual amount of 9 million cubic meters (Mm3) and fulfills the objective of the study. Results also show that recharged water remains in the groundwater storage sufficient time to ensure water quality improvements.

This study is the first ever work on evaluating the applicability and effectiveness of artificial recharge in Afghanistan. The approach followed in this thesis is backed by careful review of studies on water resources in Afghanistan, exploring literatures in the topic of artificial recharge, and utilization of newest applications of related groundwater computer programs. Therefore, this study suits as an insight for future researches on artificial recharge of groundwater in Afghanistan.



Committee Chair

Tsai, Frank