Mongolia is being urged to take steps to include water resource considerations when planning energy and mining developments.
According to the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the agriculture sector in Mongolia was the dominant consumer of water but it is “quickly changing” due to the rapid development of the mining industry and growing energy demand.
Its new report published with the Mongolia’s Ministry of Environment and Green Development (MEGD) shows energy facilities and large mines will be a major water user by 2020.
However, water is already scarce in the country and shortages are expected as early as next year.
Ayumi Konishi, Director General of ADB’s East Asia Department said: “The mining industry and thermal power stations are thirsty for Mongolia’s increasingly scarce water. In Mongolia, as elsewhere, it’s critical to consider water and energy use side by side.”
Demand for electricity from the mining, residential sectors and other industry is also expected to rise fivefold from 2012 to 2030.