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Planned activities – Outlook

The MoMo model based scenarios are envisioned as decision support tools for the Mongolian Water Authority and relevant ministries to define and develop a sustainable IWRM strategy in the Kharaa River Basin. A main objective of a following phase consists in establishing an effective environmental monitoring system in many respects. For the realization of this objective a first aspect is a hydrological monitoring coupled with the adaptation to changes in hydrological cycle due to climate change. Moreover, the installation of state-of-the-art river discharge gauges (Kharaa basin outlet, headwaters) with online data connection, permanent discharge observations in main tributaries as well as the expansion of permanent meteorological station network for measurement of precipitation and temperature (usable for hydrological and flood forecasting models).

A second aspect of monitoring is concerned with the establishment of a groundwater monitoring system, i.e. measuring groundwater level, taking water samples, usage of corresponding laboratory equipment, analyzing water quality, and data processing. The next viewpoint within the monitoring arises in connection with climate change and land use related to it. Here, high performance PC and special software packages are needed for
processing satellite images and to perform a subsequent management and visualization such that authorities are able to monitor changes and prepare decisions.

The water quality issue of ground and surface waters already mentioned above is one of the most important features within the monitoring. This fourth facet of the environmental monitoring system is on the one hand concerned with protection and investments measures to avoid direct nutrient inputs to river courses and to avoid erosion of arable land.  

Further ecologically oriented management of mines is needed to avoid contamination of the environment with toxic substances and suspended sediments in surface waters.
The monitoring continues in water and waste water systems. In the drinking water supply system of Darkhan city a priority objective is to detect leakages in order to elaborate rehabilitation strategies for water supply infrastructure. Another desirable goal is the water metering at consumers/groups of consumers (e.g. apartment blocks) to have a more precise model of the drinking water supply system for calculation of management strategies.

The capacity building in academic, technical/operational and administrative sectors is needed and must accompany all IWRM implementation activities in MoMo. Firstly, a capacity building on national wide monitoring programs (universities, important administrative institutions) is necessary. This includes knowledge transfer about e.g. sampling strategies, good laboratory practice, quality assurance, remote sensing based monitoring activities and establishing an effective environmental monitoring system. Not only by project partners but also by the educational system (schools) and by public media pupils and the population in general must be sensitized to a careful usage of water resources, to the effort regarding drinking water supply and waste water treatment, and to prevention of water and soil contamination, e.g. by collecting and orderly depositing waste.

In addition, the management of recreational fishing activities needs to be addressed in public. Secondly, at regional/local level capacity building is required as well. Here main tasks are seen in strengthening the State Professional Inspection Agency Darkhan, improvement of existing laboratory capacities in Darkhan, training of Mongolian water engineers and water utility staff in handling laboratory and mobile equipment, all with respect to water quality surveillance.