Hands-on training on Source modelling for Afghanistan’s water resources development

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The Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has adopted integrated water resources management in basins as the key building block of its water resources development approach. The government plans to develop water allocation scenarios between various water consumption sectors (irrigation, domestic, industrial, energy, and environment). This requires the use of various models to adequately simulate different parts of the physical system, such as the rainfall–runoff process, river systems process, and different types of water infrastructure and allocations. Accordingly, A Source modelling training workshop was organized by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development’s (ICIMOD) Strengthening Water Resources Management in Afghanistan (SWaRMA) project from 22 to 26 January 2019.

Source is an integrated water system modelling platform that can be used to model and solve different types of water management issues such as real-time river operations, water resources assessments, crop demand modelling, water quality, and rainfall–runoff modelling. Source also provides a platform to simulate water sharing at a basin scale. To enhance the Government of Afghanistan’s capacity in developing water resources development and management scenarios, SWaRMA adopted the J2000 platform to model glacio-hydrological processes in high mountains and the Source platform – Australia's National Hydrological Modelling Platform (NHMP) – to model the water systems.

This workshop aimed to introduce participants to Source through hands-on training using a pre-built Source model for the Kabul River basin and enable them to parameterize rainfall–runoff and water demands (in irrigation, urban, industry, and environment) within Source.

Participants of the Source Modelling Training Workshop held in January 2019 in
Kathmandu (Photo: Jitendra Bajracharya)

The training was delivered through presentations, exercises, and discussions on Source. Exercises and assignments were provided to stimulate learning by doing. Juanita Moolman, Senior Hydrologist at eWater Solutions (the not-for-profit organization established by the Australian government to manage Source), led the five-day training using a pre-built Source model for the Kabul River basin based on publicly available data. Shahriar Wahid from CSIRO led the discussion on water resource development scenarios and planning for the next training workshop on Source. Questions and other issues that arose during the workshop were addressed during a dedicated session on the last day and feedback was provided to the participants.

Participants engaged in various hands-on exercises to learn about Source modelling (Photo: Ayub Shinwari)