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Published: 03.20.2020

Demo project for treated wastewater reuse implemented in Mongolia

The 2030 WRG Mongolia program implemented a demonstration project for treated wastewater reuse for toilet flushing and other uses at the Mongolian Teachers’ Development Institute in Ulaanbaatar city.

The project originated under 2030 WRG’s Mongolia multi-stakeholder platform. 2030 WRG introduced polluter pays principles in Mongolia through amendments to the Water Pollution Fee law and associated guidelines and methodologies. The principles provide a framework for pollution payments related to the amount and load of water polluted, and economic incentives and exemptions associated with the treatment, recycling, and reuse of water.

Although the Water Law of Mongolia provided for the promotion of wastewater treatment and reuse, there were no technical standards for entities to implement. In this context, 2030 WRG’s engagement for the development of national standards for the recycling and reuse of wastewater, and their subsequent adoption in conjunction with the National Council for Environmental Standards, provided a crucial construct for the promotion of circular economy approaches. Thus, the potential for treated wastewater reuse is fully enabled with the approval of the standards for reuse, systematically carried out under the 2030 WRG multi-stakeholder platform working group related to the Enabling Legal Environment for Wastewater Treatment and Reuse.

Within the framework of implementation of this standard, the 2030 WRG implemented the first demo project on treated wastewater reuse, related to safe soil water purification and reuse at the Teachers’ Development Institute in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar. Successful implementation of the project avoids the risk of flooding of the basement of the Institute, purifies the accumulated soil water into the sewerage system, and provides excess purified water for fire extinguishing and irrigation of the green facilities. 2030 Water Resources Group provided technical assistance and engineering support for pilot development, while the Mayor’s Office supported implementation through the required budget for construction and installation. This model provides the city with a replicable approach and a smart and rational solution to drainage and reuse, with additional benefits through saving of freshwater resources and reduced water demand.