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Project Case Study

Mongolia Bulk Water Supply: Contextualizing Water Tariff Reform

Improving urban water supply services and wastewater management in Ulaanbaatar to ensure the critical urban infrastructure is in place to sustain economic growth

Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) requested Adam Smith International (ASI) to conduct a political economy analysis for its second upcoming Mongolia compact programme focused on increasing urban water supply in Ulaanbaatar. As part of its £350 million compact programme, MCC wants to invest in additional water supply well-fields and build a wastewater treatment plant. For this programme, the current structure and price of water and wastewater tariffs in Ulaanbaatar is a risk to sustainability.

Project Info

Mongolia Bulk Water Supply: Contextualizing Water Tariff Reform


  • 2017-2018


To ensure the MCC project objectives are achieved and its investments are operated and maintained in the future, ASI developed an analysis of the Mongolian context and reviewed the underlying incentives and stakeholder dynamics of the water and wastewater sector in Ulaanbaatar. The project team (which consisted of 75% local experts) engaged over 60 stakeholders from across the national and municipal governments, regulators, utilities, development agencies and the private sector, as well as conducting a water consumer survey among apartment dwellers in Ulaanbaatar. The main deliverable was a comprehensive stakeholder mapping of the key stakeholders in the sector.

To identify bottlenecks to sector sustainability, the team reviewed the existing policies, legislation and institutional structures in the urban water supply and wastewater services sector. This formed the basis of a comprehensive risk assessment of the upcoming infrastructure investment and a series of recommendations on the way forward to help build consensus and support for the objectives of the MCC’s investment. The final report helped inform MCC’s approach to the second Mongolia compact to be agreed in early 2018.

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