Mongolian President Declares Intent to Form New Alliance for Water Security

By Richard Elliott

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, 7 June – Tsakhia Elbegdorj, President of Mongolia and Peter
Brabeck-Letmathe, Chairman of the World Economic Forum-Water Resources Group and Member of the World Economic Forum Foundation Board, committed to form a Mongolian Water Alliance of key government entities, civil society representatives and private sector participants to support the transformation of Mongolia’s water sector.

At the invitation of President Elbegdorj, the World Economic Forum-Water Resources Group
and Office of the President of Mongolia co-organized the Water Secure Future in Mongolia conference in Ikh Tenger, a special complex in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, in which over 100 government officials, parliamentarians, civil society and private sector representatives participated to explore ways to safeguard Mongolia’s scarce water resources in the context of its rapid economic growth.

The conference debated pressing issues about water use in the mining, agricultural and municipal sectors, sharing case studies of international good practice for boosting water efficiency and ways of safeguarding Mongolia’s water supplies. Conference delegates agreed on the need to coordinate public and private information and activities in Mongolia’s water sector and, for immediate action, involved all stakeholders to deepen the country’s range of economic choices, to identify practical demand and supply options, and to develop a robust implementation plan.

In a follow-up meeting, President Elbegdorj and Brabeck-Letmathe committed to form a Mongolian Water Alliance of key government entities, civil society representatives and private sector participants with the Water Resources Group to support the transformation of Mongolia’s water sector.

President Elbegdorj said, “Managing our future water needs is key to sustaining Mongolia’s economic growth. We must ensure fast and effective implementation of our National Water Plan. We will benefit from the international networks and experience of the Water Resources Group to help us do so.”

Brabeck-Letmathe said, “The foresight and leadership of President Elbegdorj in recognizing the importance of water to Mongolia’s economic growth should be applauded. We are excited that Mongolia intends to join the ranks of countries such as Mexico, Jordan and South Africa that are also taking active leadership, with the support of the Water Resources Group, to find practical solutions that match sustainable water resource management with their plans for economic growth.”

The Mongolian economy is expected to grow by a factor of four in the next two decades, driven particularly by its abundant mineral wealth. Mongolian water experts at the conference noted that it takes about 4 m3 of water to move each 1 m3 of ore and that most of the mineral deposits are found in water scarce areas of the country.

About the Water Resources Group

The World Economic Forum-Water Resources Group (WRG) is an innovative public-private platform
for collaboration to mobilize stakeholders from the public and private sectors, civil society, centers of academic expertise and financing institutions to engage in fact-based, analytical approaches and coalition-building initiatives that help governments to catalyse sustainable water sector.