Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Paul P. Mathisen, Advisor

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

John A. Bergendahl , Committee Member




Ulaanbaatar city is the capital city of Mongolia. Presently more than 50 percent of the Mongolian population lives in Ulaanbaatar city, which comprises of 3% of the country’s land area. Water supply for Ulaanbaatar City is supplied solely from groundwater, which is a limited resource that exhibits slow replenishment. It has been recognized that the increasing water demand will eventually exceed the capacity of the known groundwater resources. Therefore, discovering and developing additional water sources or developing creative alternatives is an important challenge for the city. This challenge is especially critical given the anticipated impacts of climate change. Reuse of wastewater has been proposed as an alternative to reduce the overall water supply demand for the city. The first water reuse regulations in Mongolia were passed in 2018, so the institutional setting on water reuse considered to be very open. The goal of this project was to develop a systems approach to characterize the wastewater reuse and provide a basis for evaluating design alternatives that will reduce the use of groundwater resources. A system dynamics model was developed based on the Vensim modeling software to characterize the water use and wastewater budget for the City of Ulaanbaatar. This approach considered the potential role of wastewater reuse as an approach for maintaining a sustainable water supply. Water supply and wastewater generation were estimated for domestic and industrial use. The focus was on industrial reuse with consideration to the current economic and institutional settings of Mongolia. The model took into account the water requirements for various industries (including tannery, wool, food and beverage, soft beverage and alcohol, paper production and car wash, and thermal power). Two different models were generated to compare the systematic change when reuse is incorporated into the system, and linear growth was considered to provide the most appropriate predictions for future changes in water demand. The analysis and model results showed reuse options were likely limited for domestic supplies, but industrial reuse could provide a 4% reduction in total water demand and significant reductions in water use by power generation facilities.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Civil & Environmental Engineering

Project Type


Date Accepted



Restricted-WPI community only


systems dynamic, water reuse