Ulaanbaatar city March 15, 2024 - MCA-Mongolia, on the occasion of upcoming World Water Day, successfully organized the “Let’s Talk Water-5” meeting with representatives on March 15, 2-24 to provide updates on the Bulk Water Supply Project implementation under the MCC-Mongolia Water Compact, funded jointly by the governments of Mongolia and the United States.

Representatives of over 20 media organizations as well as Economic Journalists’ and Analysts’ Club and Environmental Journalists’ Club participated in the meeting, and MCA-Mongolia Chief Executive Officer Ms. E. Enkhgerel and other project directors presented on the Compact Program implementation and the construction progress.

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Millennium Challenge Account-Mongolia (MCA-Mongolia) is an accountable entity that is responsible for implementing Ulaanbaatar Bulk Water Supply Project under the MCC-Mongolia Water Compact signed between the Government of Mongolia and the United States Millennium Challenge Corporation. 

The Compact aims to ensure a safe and long-term sustainable supply of water for Ulaanbaatar that is home to nearly half of the country’s population and two-thirds of its total economic activity, while making a contribution to sustain the future development and economic growth of the country.

The Compact is funding major infrastructure projects, including the construction of new wellfields and two large plants - an Advanced Water Purification Plant and Wastewater Recycling Plant, which will be the first of their kind in Mongolia. In addition, the Compact will invest in policy measures to create a financially and environmentally sustainable future for the water sector of Ulaanbaatar.

The first infrastructure project – Downstream Wells Activity aims to expand Ulaanbaatar’s bulk water supply through the development of two groundwater wellfields with a total of 30 wells (Biokombinat-14, Shuwuun-16) located downstream from the city along the banks of the Tuul River, along with the storage facilities, pumping stations and conveyance pipeline needed to deliver water to the city and the construction of a new, state-of-the-art water purification plant (an Advanced Water Purification Plant) to ensure treatment to the highest drinking water quality standards. The expanded water system is expected to supply up to 50 million cubic meters of groundwater per year for Ulaanbaatar and will allow the city’s future expansion.

The second infrastructure project – Wastewater Recycling Activvity will reduce the demand for fresh water among Ulaanbaatar’s largest industrial facilities through reuse of the city’s wastewater. To make reuse possible, the project will support the construction of a Wastewater Recycling Plant to further treat some of the effluent from the city’s new Central Wastewater Treatment Plant, along with pipelines, storage tanks and control systems to deliver this recycled wastewater to the combined heating and power plants, the city’s largest consumers of water. Once in operation, the Wastewater Recycling Plant will treat up to 50,000 m3/day of effluent from the new CWWTP and deliver this recycled water to the Combined Heat and Power Plants #3 and #4. It will reduce the need for freshwater by up to 18 mln m3/ year, thereby saving the precious underground water resource and making it available for the water supply of Ulaanbaatar city.

The third project or Water Sector Sustainability Activity consists of five sub-activities to help ensure that the benefits of the Compact are sustained over the long term. Under the sub-activities, more than 30 small projects are being implemented.  

All the projects under the Compact is projected to be completed by March 31, 2026.

The construction of 30 groundwater wells in Biokombinat and Shuwuun and conveyance system started in third quarter of 2022 and the total completion reached more than 20 percent as of December 31, 2023. The construction progress of the Advanced Water Purification Plant (AWPP) at the eastern foothill of Songinokhairkhan mountain was at 54 percent, and the progress of the Wastewater Recycling Plant was around 28 percent at the end of the year 2023.

Once the Compact program completed, the water system in Ulaanbaatar will have been significantly expanded to deliver more drinking water, which will ensure a safe and sustainable water supply for more than 656,124 households or approximately 2’427’657 residents (projected number of residents of UB after 30 years) as well as businesses in the capital city.

MCA-Mongolia, since its establishment, has been according particular importance in making information concerning implementation of the Compact publicly available and keeping open and transparent communications with media.  In this regard, MCA-Mongolia organized the fifth "Let's Talk Water" media stakeholder engagement meeting this time, and provided updates on the Compact program and its implementation status as well as challenges facing and how they are being solved. as well as exchanged views on collaboration on effective and appropriate publicity of the Compact Program.