Water Sector Sustainability Activity

The Water Sector Sustainability Activity is intended to ensure that the projects implemented under the Millennium Challenge Mongolia Water Compact have lasting benefits and support the long-term sustainability of Ulaanbaatar city’s water and wastewater system. The activity consists of five sub-activities that address improvements in policy, legal, regulatory, and institutional framework and build capacities of water sector municipal and governmental organizations through a variety of projects and technical assistance. The five sub-activities include:

1. Cost Recovery Sub-activity

The “Cost Recovery Sub-activity” supports technical assistance to the WSRC for a detailed examination of the structuring of water and wastewater tariffs, based on a detailed assessment of the willingness and ability of water customers to pay for improved water service. The sub-activity also supports assistance for the preparation of rate cases that reflect the goal of full coverage of costs for operations, maintenance and depreciation, as required by law.

2. Ger Area Cost Containment Sub-activity

The “Ger Area Cost Containment Sub-activity” supports efforts to curtail the high costs that USUG bears for providing water through the system of water kiosks throughout the ger areas of Ulaanbaatar. The sub-activity supports a variety of small-scale works intended to reduce the direct costs associated with the delivery and sale of water, including the conversion of manually operated kiosks to automatic “smart” kiosks that operate longer hours at lower cost and the construction of additional filling stations to reduce distance and time traveled by USUG’s fleet of tanker trucks. The sub-activity also supports improvements in data sharing, planning, and coordination among USUG, municipal agencies, and district offices around expansion and the development of ger area water supply infrastructure.

3. Utility Operations Sub-activity

The “Utility Operations Sub-activity'' supports the strengthening of critical operational capacities within USUG, to be identified through the implementation of AquaRating, an international assessment and benchmarking tool for utility operations developed by the International Water Association. The sub-activity includes funding support for a comprehensive partnership between USUG and an experienced water utility from a developed country that operates in similar conditions or deals with similar concerns. The sub-activity also includes targeted support for specific concerns with USUG’s ability to operate, maintain, manage and plan its asset base, as well as its ability to capture, analyze and make use of customer data.

4. Industrial Pre-Treatment and Pollution Control Sub-activity

The “Industrial Pre-Treatment and Pollution Control Sub-activity” supports efforts to reduce the incidence of industrial pollution in the municipal wastewater collection system before it is constructed and commissioned. The sub-activity funds technical assistance to identify and model sources of industrial pollution, strengthen pollution standards, ordinances and penalties. The sub-activity also provides technical assistance and advanced laboratory equipment.

5. Public Awareness and Behavior Change Sub-activity

The “Public Awareness and Behavior Change Sub-activity” supports improved communication and engagement with stakeholders and the general public. The activity is intended to improve awareness and understanding of the scarcity of water resources available to Ulaanbaatar and the actual costs of exploiting and using water resources in ways that protect environmental and social concerns.