Case Study #6

Kharaa-Yeroo basin

Mining effluents receiving insufficient treatment before being released into surface water bodies represent a major threat to water quality in the Kharaa-Yeroo basin (copyright: Mirja Schoderer).

Governance Level


Water management topics addressed

Water quality issues: Other reasons

#6: Kharaa-Yeroo basin


Mining is a prime motor of the Mongolian economy. However, wastewater from mining operations is often discharged with little to no prior treatment. This leads to the contamination of rivers and sediments with heavy metals, which also bioaccumulate in fish. This is problematic since rivers are used for hygiene and recreation and in remote rural areas also for drinking. Several coordination instruments exist, such as i) river basin planning, ii) water use, wastewater discharge and mining licensing and fees, iii) environmental impact assessments, iv) multi- fora, and v) the prohibition of mining in or close to rivers, but their effectiveness remains limited.

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