Afghanistan’s water information system
Staying informed: CSIRO supporting Afghanistan to transform water management through information provision
With the arrival of the flood season, millions of Afghans will be warily searching the media for flood forecasts. With many parts of the country ravaged by the floods or droughts every year, people crave reliable climate and water information. The Afghanistan government, together with its development partners, is working hard to address these needs.
But in a country recovering from decades of wars, it’s a daunting task, and the process can be painstakingly slow. To date, the government has revived the hydro-met monitoring network, but analysing the collected data and generating useful information remains a challenge. A young spirited group of engineers desperately needs data and information from a centralised water information system to guide investment in the water sector.
During 2018-19, a joint Australia-Afghanistan technical expert team led by CSIRO took stock of what water data are available. They assessed where and how data can be used to provide reliable, timely and accessible information to citizens.
The guidance document, ‘The National Water Information System Development: a roadmap for Afghanistan’ identifies steps for implementation, capability building and establishing governance arrangements for developing a national water information system. Set within the context of Afghanistan’s national water strategy and priorities.
The work builds on CSIRO’s input into the development of the Australian Water Resource Information System (AWRIS), and experience in facilitation of inter-agency dialogue on water related data management (including governance and curation).
This roadmap has unlocked the possibilities for developing the Afghanistan National Water Information System (WIS), its constituent tools and supporting governance structure. We expect the WIS development will:
- strengthen international partners’ interest in CSIRO’s expertise in water information and reform
- optimise the use of Australian decision support tools
- increase dissemination of tailored water information.
This work is part of a portfolio of investments supported by the Australian Government addressing the regional challenges of water, food and energy security in South Asia.
The SDIP Phase 2 aims to improve the integrated management of water, energy and food in the Himalayan river basins, addressing climate risk and the interests of women and girls. It seeks to:
- strengthen practices for regional cooperation
- generate and use critical new knowledge to enhance regional cooperation
- improve the regional enabling environment for private sector engagement.