Iran Afghanistan Water Agreement

Iran Afghanistan Water Agreement

The water of the Helmand River is in principle divided under a 1973 treaty that allocated 820 million cubic meters of water per year to Iran. But since Afghanistan has been at war for 40 years, the offer is unpredictable. Since the signing of this treaty, Afghanistan has experienced decades of conflict and has not been able to determine its successful implementation. Moreover, despite the treaty, communication between the two countries has become highly polarized, particularly in recent years. Climate change is expected to be an aggravating factor in current water-related tensions, as water flow patterns in common basins are expected to change. “We can see the water in the Helmand River, we can even touch it, but we can`t bring it to our arable land with water,” said Dawoodzai, who grows wheat and lentils in the southern province of Helmand. “It`s frustrating for every farmer to see large amounts of water from the Helmand River flowing into Iran.” In the face of drought across the region and protests over Iran`s water shortage, Afghanistan`s announcement in April of its intention to advance plans for new dams and reservoirs has drawn objections from the Tehran government, which fears a reduction in deliveries. On the other hand, since the 1980s, Iran has been building Chah-Nimeh reservoirs to store more water, which in some cases brings total storage capacity to almost double its right in the contract. However, due to poor water management and the lack of an efficient irrigation infrastructure system, the water available in the Shah Nimeh reservoirs in Iran still does not meet demand. Afghanistan has developed infrastructure development plans in the helmand and Harirud Murghab cross-border basins. These plans are consistent with the country`s reconstruction efforts and aim to support its growing population, develop its agricultural production and generate electricity. Iran fears that the country will suffer from limited access to water if water consumption increases upstream. KABOUL (Reuters) – Rafiqullah Dawoodzai says his fields were too dry this year to sow crops, the first time in more than 40 years he skipped a period of vegetation.

The 60 hectares it operates are located on the banks of the Helmand River in Afghanistan, but the country does not have the infrastructure to use its water for large-scale irrigation. The Afghan government has begun to invest in the construction of new dams on some of its major rivers, including the Helmand River, which flows into Iran. Helmand is considered the “water lifeline” in Afghanistan, and its basin covers about 40% of the country`s area. “It`s not like we`re forcing Afghanistan to give us water,” said a senior official in Tehran, who works in the irrigation department.


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