DOI: 10.3390/su16010246 ISSN: 2071-1050

Assessing Water Resource Sustainability in the Kabul River Basin: A Standardized Runoff Index and Reliability, Resilience, and Vulnerability Framework Approach

Mohammad Naser Sediqi, Daisuke Komori
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction

The sustainability of water resources is fundamental for basin management, especially in regions where changing hydrological conditions due to climate extremes are prevalent. This study presents a comprehensive assessment of the Kabul River Basin (KRB) sustainability using the Standardized Runoff Index (SRI) as a runoff indicator. By integrating the concepts of reliability, resilience, and vulnerability (RRV), this research aims to provide a granular understanding of water sustainability within the basin. Utilizing future climate projections derived from the mean ensemble of Global Climate Models (GCMs) of Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6) under two shared socioeconomic pathways (SSP2-4.5 and SSP5-8.5), the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model simulated surface runoff for the KRB. Employing a grid-based approach, this study uncovers the internal variabilities within the basin, recognizing that individual grid points may present distinct water availability characteristics. Historical analysis indicated a decline in the KRB’s sustainability, attributed to increased vulnerability and reduced reliability and resilience. Future projections emphasize the basin’s susceptibility to runoff variations, particularly in downstream areas characterized by dense populations and intense agricultural activities. These findings accentuate the need for strategic water resource management within the KRB to address localized vulnerabilities and ensure sustainable water availability amidst climatic uncertainties.

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