Kabul Urban Water Supply Program


With an average of 15 liters of drinking water per person, per day, the current supply of water in Kabul continues to be extremely limited.  The piped-water system operated by the Afghanistan Urban Water Supply and Sewerage Company (AUWSSC) covers the needs of less than 20 percent of the population.  The ailing distribution system is highly unreliable and inefficient; water is typically delivered for only 12 hours every other day, forcing households and businesses to store water.  A majority of the population obtains water through open wells or hand pumps.  Stress on the urban water supply is projected to increase significantly in the future due to extended droughts, rising population numbers, and severe ground water contamination from the absence of a functioning waste water disposal system.  In response to these challenges, the German Development Bank (KfW), at the behest of the Afghan Government, spearheaded the Kabul Urban Water Supply (KUWS) program to meet the goals set forth in the Afghan National Development Strategy (ANDS) and increase piped water coverage to 50 percent of the population of Kabul.  


KfW prepared a four part program for the extension of the services and financed the designs of the packages.

  • The Short Term Program (STP), which is currently under construction, is jointly funded by KfW and World Bank‘s Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF) and expands the existing Kabul water network.  
  • The second program, the Medium Term Program Phase 1 (MTP-1), consists of three sections; one of which USAID will fund. This will be for an expansion of the Logar II well field, a pumping facility, and a water storage reservoir. This project will take 28 months to construct and will cost approximately 20 million dollars.
  • KfW and the French Development Agency will finance construction of two additional sections, consisting of a transmission line, neighborhood pipe network, and household connections.  The two final programs are currently in the planning process.


The programs objectives include:

  • Increase piped water coverage to a total of at least 1.4 million people (or about 29 percent of the Kabul population of 4.5 million in 2010);
  • Increase production from 60,000 to 120,000 cubic meters(m3)/day, (approximately 44 million m3/annually);
  • Increase reservoir capacity from 32,700 to 73,000 m3;
  • Increase the distribution network from approximately 500 to 1,300 kilometers; and,
  • Increase house connections from 30,000 to 90,000.

Last updated: May 07, 2019

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