According to an official from the Ministry of Energy and Water, Afghanistan and Iran have resolved their water-sharing disagreement and struck an agreement on the Helmand water pact.
The Ministry of Energy and Water said that the water of the Helmand River will be shared with Iran this year, in accordance with the Helmand Water Treaty signed between the two countries in 1973.
The Helmand River has been the major focus of a developing dispute between Afghanistan and Iran regarding water rights and the construction of Kamal Khan dam.
The Iranian government claimed that damming the Helmand will harm the environment, particularly in Iran’s water-stressed border region with Afghanistan.
The Afghan government, on the other hand, claimed that the dams are being built to maintain water security in accordance with the 1973 water treaty with Iran.
An official from the Ministry of Energy and Water said, “The two sides called for the implementation of the treaty as the problem was within the area covered by the treaty.”
Kabul and Tehran agreed in 1973 to share water from the Helmand River at a rate of 26 cubic meters per second, or 850 million cubic meters per year.
The Ministry is also intending to resume construction of the Kamal Khan dam, in south-western Afghanistan, to regulate the Helmand River’s water, according to the official.
Although Afghanistan is considered to be a “self-sufficient” country in terms of its waters, but the lack of water infrastructure has rendered Afghanistan to have “one of the lowest levels of water storage capacity in the world.”