UNEP Releases Report on Water and Climate Change Vulnerability in Mongolia

22 March 2011: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has released a report titled "Urban Water Vulnerability to Climate Change in Mongolia," which predicts continued dramatic climate change in Mongolia over the next century, including more snow in winter and less rain in summer.

Noting an annual average temperature increase of 2.1° Celsius since the 1940s, the report underscores that the effects of climate change have been compounded by rapid urbanization, which has reduced the availability of water for domestic and industrial use. The report explains that 50% of Ulaanbaatar's population live in informal settlements, with only 5-10 litres of water per capita per day. However groundwater in the capital city is still being used faster than it is being replenished, causing a marked decline in the water table.

The report formulates five key adaptation recommendations for Mongolia, namely to: develop an Integrated Urban Water Management plan for the Tuul River Basin; increase investment and rehabilitate existing water supply networks for the domestic water supply;  reduce the population's vulnerability to extreme weather events by improving existing flood protection systems, installing an early warning system, reviewing housing and settlement plans, and raising public awareness; improve water quality, particularly through the rehabilitation of wastewater treatment plants, especially in Ulaanbaatar; and better enforce the legal framework on water supply, disposal and wastewater treatment. [UNEP Press Release] [Executive Summary][Part I][Part II]