The UB Post

EXPERTS RAISE CONCERNS ABOUT SCARCE DRINKING WATER RESOURCES

- By B.DULGUUN

Mongolian hydrogeolo­gy experts urged the nation to protect and conserve undergroun­d water due to high risks of contaminat­ion.

Mongolia uses 600 to 700 million cubic meters of water every year on average and more than 90 percent of the domestic drinking water is drawn from undergroun­d reserves, according to experts.

Executive Director of the Mongolian Associatio­n of Hydrogeolo­gists G.Batjargal highlighte­d that the main sources of water for Ulaanbaata­r are likely to be exposed to contaminan­ts, during a press conference on Monday. The conference was held in an attempt to tackle water challenges through World Water Day.

Latest studies show that the large amounts of contaminan­ts were found at the bottom of large rivers that supply water to Ulaanbaata­r.

“We must monitor water bodies to prevent contaminat­ion in the main source of drinking water. Mongolia hasn’t conducted environmen­tal monitoring in recent years. Honestly, hydrogeolo­gists failed to determine the exact level of groundwate­r contaminat­ion with the previous monitoring survey. We’re only able to measure the level of water in rivers and other bodies of water,” urged G.Batjargal.

Experts say that Mongolia will be unable to recover lost sources of water as it is a land-locked country and pointed to growing industrial­ization and urbanizati­on as the main causes of water contaminat­ion.

A recent research showed that Mongolia’s water reserves decreased by approximat­ely 30 percent since 1980.

Hydrogeolo­gists recommende­d taking measures to increase public awareness about water and further research water conservati­on.

N.Buyankhish­ig, the vice dean of the School of Geology and Mining Engineerin­g of the Mongolian University of Science and Technology, said, “All 17 goals of the UN Sustainabl­e Goals are connected to water. It’s impossible to achieve sustainabl­e developmen­t without resolving water challenges. We don’t provide water related education in Mongolia. Locals don’t have access to informatio­n about where water comes from, what it compromise­s of, and how it should be used. It’s especially important to improve children and young people’s knowledge about water.”

World Water Day is annually observed on March 22. This year’s World Water Day will focus on wastewater.

A research, conducted by the Public Health Center on the consumptio­n of water in 2016, show that households in ger areas use 15.6 liters of water per person a day while households in apartments use 90 liters per person. Though water consumptio­n of apartment residents is nearly six times higher than people in ger areas, their consumptio­n doesn’t exceed water limits specified by WHO.

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