|Ulaanbaatar in the winter|
A recent consultative meeting between the Ministry of Nature, Environment and Green Development (MNEGD), the National Water Authority, and the Tuul River Basin Administration (TRBA) in
concluded that Ulaanbaatar, is
slated to face severe water shortages by 2015. The meeting, titled “The Queen
River Tuul and Ulaanbaatar’s Fate,” was held on March 20th and
discussed the measures needed to address rapidly impending groundwater
shortages, emphasizing the importance of effective water management and the
need to enforce limits on water use by households and businesses.
In an interview with the UB Post, Senior Official of the Data Control and Assessment Division of the TRBA, Ya. Boldbaatar, shared details regarding the issue.
UB Post: Officials have reported that
will soon face water shortages. How much water is
city gets 98 percent of its water from groundwater.
The city consumes 330,000 cubic meters (m3) of groundwater each day.
At this rate, our city will begin to run out of groundwater in 2015. Ulaanbaatar
YB: Yes. The Tuul, Selbe and
are the biggest sources of surface water. Water
levels of the Tuul, Terelj and Khuin rivers have decreased. Worse still, the
surface water in our country, especially in the Tuul river, is alarmingly
polluted. Massive numbers of fish and fresh water animals are dying. Uliastai Rivers
YB: There is a way to access more groundwater through additional water well construction. It has also been proposed that we erect a concrete dam on the
, establish artificial lakes and pools, and recycle
wastewater: treating it so that it can be used again. There is also potential
to develop the Central Water Treatment Plant of the Ulaanbaatar Water Supply
and Sewerage Authority (USUG) into a “Biogas Technology Complex” so as to treat
sewage and use it for water supplies (exempting drinking water) and to form a
bio-pond with the remaining water, which will support the Tuul River in times of drought. Tuul River
YB: The MNEGD and waste sector agencies are inspecting companies and installing water consumption calculators. The MNEGD is also requiring companies to conduct environmental impact assessments. If we introduce advanced technology for water saving into
, it will be easier to demand that companies
contribute to water saving activities. Mongolia