The Politics of River Basin Organisations
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The Politics of River Basin Organisations

Coalitions, Institutional Design Choices and Consequences

Edited by Dave Huitema and Sander Meijerink

Can River Basin Organisations (RBOs) actually improve water governance? RBOs are frequently layered on top of existing governmental organisations, which are often reluctant to share their power. This, in turn, can affect their performance. The Politics of River Basin Organisations addresses this issue by exploring the subject on a global level.
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Chapter 11: Evolving river basin management in Mongolia?

Ines Dombrowsky, Annabelle Houdret and Lena Horlemann


As a decentralised, participatory and cross-sectoral approach to water management, river basin management has recently attracted greater attention in Mongolia. In socialist times, the Mongolian People’s Republic was strongly influenced by the Soviet system, centralised planning and top-down implementation prevailing in the water sector as elsewhere. A largely peaceful democratic revolution in 1990 then marked the beginning of the transition to a multi-party system, a market economy and, from 1992, growing decentralisation. Water use has since risen dramatically; not only the boom in the mining industry, but also the expansion of irrigated agriculture and livestock production, urbanisation and changing lifestyles have all contributed to resource depletion and growing pollution. In response to the mounting difficulties in water governance, the Mongolian government adopted the concept of integrated water resources management to improve the sustainability of water use. While the first statements on this date back to the late 1990s, actual decisions to implement integrated water resources management, including river basin management, and to create appropriate institutions were not taken until the 2004 Water Law, which provided for the establishment of river basin councils, and in 2012, when a new Water Law providing for the creation of river basin administrations was passed.

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