The water crisis in Afghanistan highlights the importance of Taliban management of Afghan dams. Our analysis of open source data and commercial satellite imagery reveals that, as a gesture towards improved relations, the Taliban has begun to release water into Iran with greater frequency than the former Afghan government.
Additionally, our data reveals that Afghanistan's four uncontrolled discharge dams are unable to adequately respond to the water crisis and extreme weather events. These dams exacerbate the effects of frequent droughts, underscoring the importance of modern water management infrastructure for the future stability and development of Afghanistan.
GEOINT-based comparisons of dam reservoir areas indicate no consistent pattern of change from coordinated efforts in reservoir areas under Taliban management (2021-2022) compared to the previous management period under the Afghan government (2018-2020) with the exception of Iran water releases.