Saturday, October 13, 2012

Tackling water scarcity in Mongolia - do you agree?

Volunteered at ADB project today, by hosting a debate on "How to tackle the increasing water scarcity, installing water meter for every household, and making awareness of how to save water in your day-to-day life" at Puma Hotel this morning.

An awesome debate between УСУГ, СӨХ, ОСК (sorry, don't know these org. names in english) and normal citizens. There were of course some heated conflicts and arguments between them regarding whose responsibility it is to help tackling the water issues (they clearly don't like each other), but overall all agreed that water is becoming scare at great speed, which will also worsen with this mining boom.

Our apartment always had a water meter, but I never thought about how important it was for every household in Mongolia to have them. One family saved 80,000Tugrik this year after figuring out they have always been paying extra money with this water meter.

Solutions:

1. Install water meter for every family. Have government compensate on the prices, since it costs at least 100,000Tugrik.
2. Increase the water price, which will consequently increase the household's incentives to save water more
3. Levy some sort of tax on companies, i.e : mining, cashmere, etc, which use massive amount of water and pollute them. Make these companies recycle the water and reuse it. Needs to pass a law on this. It is unacceptable how they use fresh water so much!
4. Make a water saving education MANDATORY at schools and even kindergarden. Family education is important, too.
5. Set standards high for new buildings and especially at the ger district projects; since the new buildings have worse water system than the old soviet ones (of course not all).
6. This debate has been going on for 8 years now, NOTHING has been done effectively to tackle water problems. So, need to act IMMEDIATELY.

This is what I understood from the debate so far.

It was crazy how people were so frustrated when the citizens blamed the organizations for not doing anything efficient. Money was the biggest issue, since both the citizens and the organizations needs massive funding; and organizations mentioned how they miss the old Soviet era, where they had the state support :P

Thank god we had a deadline otherwise the debate would have went on forever.

Well, what do you think?
:P
B.