of sustainable use and management of water resources on the level of river watersheds are of great importance for Central Asia. With the Water Act (2004) and the National Water Program (2010), the Mongolian government embraced the concept of Integrated Water Resources Management as a guideline for the usage and protection of the nation's water resources.
Impacts of global climate change
Central Asia is likely to experience a higher than average rise in temperatures due to global climate change. This will lead not only to higher evaporation, but could also increase water consumption in the agricultural sector. In Mongolia, an inventory of surface water resources made in 2003 showed a massive decrease and a potential permanent loss of natural water resources (rivers, lakes, ponds, wells). Both, changes in timing and amount of precipitation and altered use of natural water resources may be responsible for this massive trend.
Mining activities and impacts on water resources by nonpoint sources
Mining activities (mainly coal, gold, copper, molybdenum and rare earths) have become an important backbone of the Mongolian economy. However, they do cause environmental problems and negatively affect large-scale hydrological regimes so that nomadic families experience water quality problems for themselves and their livestock.
Urban Mongolia faces multiple challenges with regard to drinking water supply, waste water treatment and overall sanitary conditions. This is largely due to the poor state of water supply and sewage infrastructures and limits the perspectives for social and economic development. The consumption of contaminated water is a relevant threat to human and animal health. Therefore, improvements in urban water management have a high priority.
Central wastewater treatment plant, Darkhan
Control room, central wastewater treatment plant, Darkhan