Home Institution

University of Denver

Publication Date

Fall 2013

Program Name

Mongolia: Geopolitics and the Environment


The paper attempts to assess how water access and security in Mongolian ger districts is impacted by the competing forces of climate change and development. The development of Mongolia is, understandably, a priority of the government and much of the populace, as are the impacts of climate change, which are well documented and acknowledged. Furthermore, these processes both have potentially adverse impacts on the overall well being of communities. In the context of water access and security, the need to strike this balance becomes even more acute. These factors can all be seen playing out in the city of Sainshand, in Dornogovi aimag, in the South Gobi. Finding this balance defines the overarching theme of the paper, and the following questions will be asked in an attempt to begin to understand how best to integrate these interests for more successful water management overall in the context of Sainshand and its ger districts – What are people’s current water-related needs and concerns and are those being adequately addressed? Has there been any change seen in water access and water resource allocation in recent years? What are the existing plans for adaptation in the face of climate change and development and how are those plans being implemented? While water access is generally acceptable for ger district dwellers, issues still remain, and despite the very recent passage of a water security plan for Dornogovi aimag, there is still much that can and should be done to ensure sustainable water access and security. These issues are created by, namely, gaps in data created by lack of research and a high division of responsibility in regards to water resource management, both at the aimag level, and a lack of community participation in key decision-making.


Environmental Health and Protection | Natural Resources and Conservation | Natural Resources Management and Policy | Water Resource Management


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