Ulaanbaatar/MONTSAME/ Last Friday, May 4, Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh addressed at Parliament about Mongolia’s water resource, present water consumption and pressing issues and measures to be taken further.
Within the Sustainable Development Vision, Mongolia set a goal to provide 80 percent of its population with quality and standard potable water by 2020.
“As of 2015, about 65 percent of the population had access to standard water services. On the other side, about a million of people is still using unguaranteed, open and portable water. It means these people are likely to suffer health problems. …Now, Mongolia encounters a necessity to realize right management and good governance to use water resource decently and rehabilitate and safeguard water quality and reserve,” said the PM.
He introduced about the progress of the state policy on water and many related resolutions, including National Program ‘Water’, Green Development Policy, Sustainable Development Vision-2030 and Unified Management on Water Resource. In addition, there have been 22 laws regarding the Constitution of Mongolia and Mongolia’s water policy, over 20 resolutions issued by the Parliament and its Standing Committees, recommendations by the National Security Council, over 20 government resolutions and more than 30 regulations and rules approved by Environment and Tourism Minister and other relevant ministers.
“Today, the country’s total annual water consumption is around 500 million cubic meter, which equals 0.001 percent of its water resource. Groundwater, which makes up less than two percent of Mongolia’s total water resource, provides over 80 percent of the country’s water consumption. Water use of the population, industries, production and agriculture is growing fast. According to the study in 2011, Mongolia’s total annual water consumption was around 330.0 million cubic meter. However, it tends to double averagely by 2021. To satisfy such fast growing needs of water, we need to take urgent measures reflected in the water-related policies and programs punctually,” stressed the PM.
Due to recent climate change and global warming, the permafrost and water level of glacier declined by roughly 30 percent and as of 2017, 391 lakes, 344 rivers and brooks and 760 springs were found to have dried out.
In the end of his address, the Prime Minister presented essential measures to be taken to improve water supply and water resources to ensure Mongolia’s national security, population growth, sustainable economic development and adaptation to climate change.
The measures include resolving investment matters to implement objectives of the Government Action Plan 2016-2020, ‘Water’ National Program and others, accumulating surface water to increase water reserve, continuing the construction of water complex at Eg, Orkhon, Shuren and Tuul rivers and finding optimal solutions and making river flow adjustments at Kherlen and Tuul rivers. Surface water reserve for Ulaanbaatar’s water supply will be also created along groundwater for combined use and urban wastewater treatment plants will be newly built or expanded.
It also includes issues to train and re-retrain water professionals, intensify exploration and research works on increasing water resource according to the demands of rapid development of economic sectors and production, develop a water organization in charge of proper use of water, as well as others.