Integrated Water Resources Management in Central Asia – Model Region Mongolia (MoMo III)

The MoMo III project seeks to transfer the extensive research results from MoMo I and II on several water aspects (e.g. water institutions, protection of water resources, drinking water supply and wastewater treatment) to the Mongolian government through practical policy advice and knowledge/know-how transfer. After having examined the changing legal and institutional conditions of water governance and their effects on the implementation of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) in Mongolia, the DIE team will focus on advising the newly established Kharaa/Eroo River Basin Administration on developing and implementing the the Kharaa River Basin Management Plan (RBMP). This task will be complemented by further analytical work on the transformation of Mongolia’s water sector and by reflecting on the process of decentralization and its implication for River Basin Management (RBM) in the wider international context.

Project Lead:
Ines Dombrowsky

Dietrich Borchardt, Umweltforschungszentrum Leipzig

Project description

In the last three decades, Mongolia has undergone a deep and very rapid transformation resulting from its transition from socialism to democracy and subsequent engagement in the market economy. This transformation has translated in significant changes of the Mongolian economy that include the rapid development of the mining sector and the expansion of livestock farming. These changes together with an increasing urbanization and climate change in turn have resulted in stunning socio-political and environmental changes.

For the Mongolian water sector, these changes have meant increased water pollution, insufficient water availability and an ever increasing water demand. The Mongolian government has adopted the Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) approach in order to address these pressures and problems. Although legally adopted since 2004 and despite significant legal changes in 2012, there are still fundamental legal, political and financial shortcomings in the IWRM implementation process. These shortcomings include unclear mandates, lack of practical collaboration and coordination among different institutions at all levels (i.e. vertical and horizontal interplay and institutional fit), budgets that do not suffice institutional mandates, lack of stakeholder empowerment and participation, and the prioritization of economic interests over socio-environmental interests.

Seeking to boost IWRM in Mongolia, the overall objective of MoMo III is to transfer science-based results into practice, improve water sector capacities and foster cooperation between institutions for an improved integrated water resources management (IWRM) in Mongolia. In particular, the project seeks to support the development of the Khaara River Basin Management Plan. 

Within this project, DIE researchers focus on analyzing and developing advice on

  1. the development of the legal, political and financial environment for river basin management (RBM) and
  2. the impacts of fiscal decentralization on RBM in Mongolia,  and
  3. on consulting with regard to the preparation of the Kharaa River Basin Management Plan.