Water conference in Afghanistan promotes sustainable water resource management

KABUL, Afghanistan, July 7, 2009 -- The 2009 Water Resource Management Conference in Kabul was held recently in partnership with the U.S. Government, providing a forum for stakeholders to discuss the opportunities and challenges of sustainable development and water resource management in Afghanistan...

KABUL, Afghanistan, July 7, 2009 -- Today, the Supreme Council of Water Affairs Management of Afghanistan convened the 2009 Water Resource Management Conference in Kabul. Held in partnership with the U.S. Government, the three-day event provided a forum for stakeholders to discuss the opportunities and challenges of sustainable development and water resource management in Afghanistan.

"One of the many challenges facing Afghanistan is how to best conserve and manage water to meet future needs -- domestic, industrial, and agricultural. This conference will help identify and prioritize programs to advance water resource management in support of greater social and economic development," said U.S. Ambassador Anthony Wayne, U.S. Coordinating Director for Development and Economic Affairs in his opening remarks. "The hope of future generations depends, in part, on our ability to manage wisely the precious and limited water resources, not just in Afghanistan, but worldwide."

Proper management of water resources is essential for the continued growth of Afghanistan's agriculture sector, which employs approximately 80% of the population. Additionally, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is working to provide clean drinking water for its citizens, and to ensure that industrial water use facilitates continued economic growth without wasting vital resources.

In support of the Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS), the conference provided the opportunity to develop an integrated approach to designing and implementing water resource management programs. Presentations during the conference's technical sessions covered five major themes: water supply and sanitation, water resource policies and strategies, water sector capacity building, infrastructure, and integrated water resources management (IWRM).

The Water Resource Management Conference was organized by the Afghan Supreme Council of Water Affairs Management under the auspices of the First Vice President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Ahmad Zia Massoud, and in partnership and close coordination with the U.S. Government and U.S. Forces, Afghanistan.

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