Ecosystem based river basin management planning in a critical water catchment in mongolia
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Ecosystem based river basin management planning in a critical water catchment in Mongolia. European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2014. Navchaa Tugjamba, Erdenetuul Sereeter , Sarantuya Gonchigjav Department of Environment and Tourism management University of the Humanities, Mongolia.

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Ecosystem based river basin management planning in a critical water catchment in Mongolia

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Ecosystem based river basin management planning in a critical water catchment in Mongolia

European Geosciences Union

General Assembly 2014

Navchaa Tugjamba, ErdenetuulSereeter, SarantuyaGonchigjav

Department of Environment and Tourism management

University of the Humanities, Mongolia

01 May, 2014



  • Background and needs of ecosystem based adaptation

  • IWRM planning methodology

  • Description of the case area

  • Water use and Future tendency

  • Challenging issues of the river basin

  • Main goal and objectives of the River Basin IWRM plan

  • Conclusions and recommendations

Background and needs of ecosystem based adaptation

  • "Ecosystem Based adaptation" is quite a new term in Mongolia and the ecosystem approach is a strategy for the integrated management of land, water and living resources that promotes conservation and sustainable use in an equitable way.

State and value of Ecosystem service (ES) used as a tangible indicator of IWRM success

ES assessment: inventory, supply, demand, values and trends

Developing IWRM vision/policy

Continuous awareness building

Stakeholder participation

Political commitment

Identification and assessment of basin issues, gaps and baselines


Assess progress and revise the plan

Selection of the strategies



River Basin Organization

Basin plan development: stakeholders and political approval

Payments for ES used as a policy instrument where appropriate

ES values used for prioritizing management outcomes

Benefit-sharing approach illustrated with ES concepts

IWRM planning methodology

  • Fresh water is a finite and vulnerable resource :At the result of hydrology census there 114 rivers estimated in Bayan-ul, Bayandun, Dashbalbar, Gurvanzagal and Chuluut khoroot soums included in Ulz river basin; but 53 rivers have water or 53.4 percent from what of are dried up in 2011. Also from totally 148 lakes just 26 lakes have water, 150 from 224 springs are dried up.

  • Organized local and stakeholder discussions and meetings 3 times. 156 residents of the river basin and representatives of the 29 local organizations were involved in the situation analysis study.

    Fundamental research materials:

  • Report on “Ecological and socioeconomic baseline studies conducted in Ulz river basin”. Team of scientific researchers of the Institute of Meteorology, Hydrology and Environment. UB., 2013/MON /12/301 project/

  • Report on “Assessment of the vulnerabilities and risks under climate change in the Eastern steppe / Mongol Daguur region” “Water balance estimation of the Ulz River basin” JEMR., 2013

Description of the case area

The Ulz river basin is a buffer zone between the southern boundary of Siberian taiga and steppe ecosystem of the eastern Mongolia as an ecotone of forest steppe and steppe ecosystems.

Length of Ulz River to the national border is 495 km.

The catchment area is 36456 km2 at the border hydrological gauging station

Water use and Future tendency: population growth, water consumption, in 2012, 2015, 2021

Drinking water supply of the population

Challenging issues of the river basin

  • In reference to last five year average, 14215 people of 4047 households had been living in the basin, of which 1703 or 42.1% herder households live here

  • 89.8 percent of the total territory of Ulz river basin is occupied by Dornod province, 7.4 percent Khentii province and only 2.8 percent is occupied by territory of the Russian Federation.

  • Long-term average run-off or Ulz River at Ereentsav soum is 7.26 m3/sec; average water resources is 0.23 km3.

  • Annual run-off of Ulz river for the last ten years was lower by 3-5 times from long term mean.

  • The temperature has increased by in average 1.3оС over the period 1976 to 2011. It is more intense than the global warming rate (0.74oC/100 years) and a bit higher than the warming rate over whole Mongolia (2.7oC/100years) as well.

  • The size of the field with the mining and exploration licenses of natural resources is 4967 km2, which is equal to 13.2 % of the total territory of the river basin.



Conclusions and recommendations

  • As the result of the water balance estimation, the total possible usage resource is 145.71 million m3/year and it would be sufficient until 2021. But water consumption-use will be increased 3 times.

  • The strategic objectives and actions to solve the challenging issues related to water using, protecting and rehabilitating for the river basin sustainable development, are identified within the framework of the "MDG-based comprehensive National Development strategy"; “National Water program", "National Action Program on Climate Change" and other policy and development documents.

  • The stakeholders' role is vital for implementing the river basin IWRM plan. Their participation and activities are connected to a successful implementation of the basin.


  • It is important to reason and let to understand to public correlation of socioeconomic and environmental, to introduce the main concept of sustainable development, to increase public participation in decision making and to improve the legal environment to protect the nature, and proper use of natural resources.

  • Generally, a concentration of mineralization and hardness in ground water in the basin is high. Therefore, the water user person and entity should use water after water quality improved by installing equipment to soften and to decrease mineralization.

  • Entity and companies engaging in mining activity, should process plan of environmental monitoring for protecting environment. Monitoring of water, soil and air should be done by a professional organization and results of monitoring need to be introduced to the proper authority organization.

Thank you for your attention!

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