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Feasibility Study on Tumen River Water Protection
2013/7/26 20:26:14 Views:

Feasibility Study on Tumen River Water Protection


Priority Sector: Environment
Timeframe: 2010 – 2011
Estimated budget: USD 165,000
Project Status: completed in March 2013
Sources of Funding: GTI, GEF



The Tumen River originates in Shi Yishui, Southeast of Changbai Mountain in Jilin Province, China and flows into the Sea of Japan/East Sea. This river forms part of the national border between China and the DPRK, and in its lower reaches it constitutes the entire national border between Russia and the DPRK (17 km). The total length of the Tumen River is 525 km. As an international river flowing along the national borders, the Tumen River is an important provider of water resources to the adjacent areas of the three riparian countries. The water resources of the Tumen River help preserve globally significant endemic biodiversity, and are also used for sustaining local livelihoods through agricultural and industrial development in each of the border countries.

According to previous studies and surveys, the water of the river is seriously polluted by industrial and urban sewage. The Report on the State of the Environment in Jilin Province (2006) indicated a water quality of Class V in 75% of the Tumen River Basin which means that the water is unfit for natural reserves, drinking, domestic, industrial and agricultural uses. The degree of the pollution reflects a variety of sources, including suspended solids, chemical oxygen demand and biological oxygen demand.

Recourses’ exploitation within the Tumen region also resulted in serious deforestation, soil erosion and other forms of environment degradation which added to the Tumen River water pollution. The pollution threatens the Russian Far East Marine Reserve and Khasan wetlands, worsens the life conditions of the population in the region and raises costs for regional industries.

Reducing pollution of the Tumen River and protecting the river basin from deterioration meets the interests of all the three riparian countries involved. However, it cannot be effectively addressed unilaterally due to transboundary nature of the river. Thus, to establish a sound and efficient water protection system the Tumen River’s increased cooperation among the GTI member countries at the national level is critically required. Furthermore, information sharing and capacity building of the local organizations involved are much-needed in all three countries of the Tumen watershed. The GTI is well-positioned to facilitate and enhance trilateral cooperation for improving of the water quality of the Tumen River.




The objective of this project is to improve the water quality of the Tumen River and to protect it from environmental degradation through the promotion of regional cooperation and sustainable development in the Greater Tumen Region (GTR). More specifically, the project is aimed at:

  • Building awareness on the actual status of pollution, main polluters and environmental condition of the Tumen River Basin.
  • Developing a set of practical recommendations for combating water pollution.


  • Investigating current water quality and the pollution status in the Tumen River
  • Providing policy recommendations and technical guidance for Tumen River water protection
  • Building a stakeholder cooperation network for protection of the Tumen River


Expected Outputs


  • Two Scientific Workshops to gain feedback from the stakeholders and improve the outcomes of the projects
  • Scientific Report on the status of pollution and the level of the environmental degradation of the Tumen River System.
  • Recommendation Paper containing clear and workable policy recommendations for the riparian states on how to further prevent pollution of the Tumen River System and improve its water quality

Related Information

  • Final Report