City Interventions

Darkhan Water Supply and Sanitation Infrastructure Improvement

Country: Mongolia
City: Darkhan

Key Stakeholders and PartnersDarkhan Local Government; Ministry of Construction and Urban Development; Asian Development Bank

Project Preparation Study PeriodNovember 2012 – July 2014

CDIA SupportUS$ 292,542

Expected Downstream Financing$ 18.5 million (ADB Loan)

Infrastructure sectorsWater Supply
Wastewater Management

CDIA priority impact areasClimate Change Mitigation and Adaptation; Environmental Improvement; Poverty Reduction

Key City Development Issues

While Darkhan has good water resources, water quality problems are experienced at the point of delivery due to poor condition of the 50-year old pipe network resulting in an overall leakage rate of about 50% and non-revenue water level of 48%. Water supply and sanitation conditions in ger areas are poor with water supply only obtainable from water kiosks. Both water supply and sewer networks in apartments and low-rise housing in the core urban areas suffer from ageing and dilapidated infrastructure resulting in significant leakage and frequent system failures. Built in 1965, the city’s wastewater treatment plant (WWTP), sewer network and pumping stations are in urgent need of structural rehabilitation and replacement. Many components of the WWTP are out of commission while three sewer sections and two pumping stations need urgent replacement. Frequent breakdowns of the existing wastewater collection and treatment system cause untreated water to discharge into the groundwater and the Kharaa River. Sanitation in ger areas comes in the form of on-plot pit latrines which cause soil and groundwater pollution. Ger areas are not served by the city wastewater system.

Details of Cooperation

CDIA provided technical assistance to the local government of Darkhan in the following areas: (i) formulation of a pre-feasibility study (PFS) for prioritized urban Water Supply and Wastewater Management Infrastructure Improvement; (ii) development of an Integrated Urban Infrastructure Investment Program (as part of the PFS); and (iii) enhancing the capacity of the local government to prepare, implement and operate public infrastructure projects in the water supply and sanitation sector.

Expected Development Outcomes

When fully operational, the project is expected to: (i) enhance access to water services by city residents and (ii) improve the system for wastewater collection and treatment, thereby resulting in better living conditions and improved environment in the city of Darkhan and the Kharaa River basin.


Key City informationLand Area: 103 sq. km.
Population: 84,000 (2017)
City website: www.darkhan.gov.mn

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