Repairing the Dahla Dam and its irrigation system is one of Canada’s three signature projects in Afghanistan. Through this project, 80 percent of Kandaharis who live along the Arghandab irrigation system will have access to a secure water supply to stimulate agricultural production. Having this project underway is an important step in the economic development of Kandahar province and Afghanistan.
For centuries, the Arghandab Valley, where the dam is located, has been known as the breadbasket of Afghanistan. The region has the potential to be the most productive agricultural area in the country, with the greatest scope for creating food surpluses for processing and export.
The Dahla Dam and irrigation system is Afghanistan’s second largest dam. Built in the 1950s, years of disrepair and war have left it functioning at a reduced capacity.
Repairs include replacing generators, repairing water valves, and fixing gates to improve control over the flow of water from the Arghandab River into the 40-kilometre network of canals. Downstream, a major desilting of the canals will ensure that the increased water flow will reach individual Kandaharis. As for the dam itself, sediment in Afghanistan’s dusty climate has collected in the bottom of the reservoir. This has further reduced the capacity of the reservoir by up to 30 percent.
The repair of the Dahla Dam and irrigation system will:
The project is managed by a joint venture of experienced Canadian firms: SNC-Lavalin and Hydrosult.Progress to date:
The Dahla Dam and Arghandab Irrigation Rehabilitation Project has achieved the following significant results to date: