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Special Issue "Integrated River Basin Management and Regional Sustainable Development"

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A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2014)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Xiangzheng Deng (Website)

Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing, 100101, China
Fax: 86-10-64856533
Guest Editor
Dr. Ram Babu Singh (Website)

University of Delhi, Delhi - 110007, India

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This special issue for Sustainability aims to present current theoretical and applied work to advance our understanding of integrated river basin management and regional sustainable development. The idea of integrated river basin management has gained prominence mainly because water security has become a pivotal issue for regional sustainable development in recent years, particularly for regions with a fragile ecology and sensitive to global climate change, urbanization and industrialization, economic growth, land use and land cover change, etc.

This special issue for Sustainability addresses all the direct and indirect restrictions and stimuli of regional sustainable development in river basins. We invite papers that address the following suggested and other related topics:

  • Ÿ   influences of urbanization and industrialization on water demand
  • Ÿ   planting structure change, agricultural irrigation and influences on water demand
  • Ÿ   ecological water demand and water cycles
  • Ÿ   climate change, land use and land cover change and influences on water cycles
  • Ÿ   integrated river basin management strategy

Dr. Xiangzheng Deng
Dr. Ram Babu Singh
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs).


Keywords

  • Ÿ   integrated water resources management
  • Ÿ   sustainable and adaptive management
  • Ÿ   climate change
  • Ÿ   urbanization
  • Ÿ   industrialization
  • Ÿ   planting structure change
  • Ÿ   agricultural irrigation
  • Ÿ   economic growth
  • Ÿ   land use and land cover change
  • Ÿ   ecosystem services
  • Ÿ   ecological water demand
  • Ÿ   drought forecasting and drought management
  • Ÿ   water cycles
  • Ÿ   sustainable development
  • Ÿ   regional policy analysis

Published Papers (19 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle The Temporal and Spatial Evolution of Water Yield in Dali County
Sustainability 2015, 7(5), 6069-6085; doi:10.3390/su7056069
Received: 30 November 2014 / Revised: 21 April 2015 / Accepted: 22 April 2015 / Published: 18 May 2015
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Abstract
Water yield is of great importance to the balance between supply and demand of water resources. The provision of freshwater for Dali is estimated and mapped in 1988, 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2008, using the Integrated Valuation of Environmental Services and Tradeoffs [...] Read more.
Water yield is of great importance to the balance between supply and demand of water resources. The provision of freshwater for Dali is estimated and mapped in 1988, 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2008, using the Integrated Valuation of Environmental Services and Tradeoffs (InVEST) modeling toolset. The stability of water yield’s spatial variation is analyzed by a sorting method. The factors are explored which lead to the change in the relative water yield capacity. The yields at five points in time are compared, and the result of which shows a sharp fluctuation. The water yield curve is of a similar waveform as precipitation. An obvious and relatively stable spatial variation appears for water yield. The highest water yield areas are mainly located in the area where the elevation is high and both the elevation and the slope changes are large, and the main land uses are Shrub Land and High Coverage Grassland. The lowest areas are mainly in the eastern part of Erhai or the surrounding area. Precipitation, construction land expansion and the implementation of policy on land use are the three main factors which contribute to the change of the relative water yield capacity during 1988–2008 in Dali. In the study area, the water yield appears highly sensitive to the change in precipitation. The elasticity coefficient is calculated to illustrate the sensitivity of the water yield to the precipitation. When the elasticity index is larger, the risk of natural disaster will be higher. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Hybrid Inexact Optimization Method for Land-Use Allocation in Association with Environmental/Ecological Requirements at a Watershed Level
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4643-4667; doi:10.3390/su7044643
Received: 27 November 2014 / Revised: 8 April 2015 / Accepted: 9 April 2015 / Published: 20 April 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1193 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this study, an inexact stochastic fuzzy programming (ISFP) model is proposed for land-use allocation (LUA) and environmental/ecological planning at a watershed level, where uncertainties associated with land-use parameters, benefit functions, and environmental/ecological requirements are described as discrete intervals, probabilities and fuzzy [...] Read more.
In this study, an inexact stochastic fuzzy programming (ISFP) model is proposed for land-use allocation (LUA) and environmental/ecological planning at a watershed level, where uncertainties associated with land-use parameters, benefit functions, and environmental/ecological requirements are described as discrete intervals, probabilities and fuzzy sets. In this model, an interval stochastic fuzzy programming model is used to support quantitative optimization under uncertainty. Complexities in land-use planning systems can be systematically reflected, thus applicability of the modeling process can be highly enhanced. The proposed method is applied to planning land use/ecological balance in Poyang Lake watershed, China. The objective of the ISFP is maximizing net benefit from the LUA system and the constraints including economic constraints, social constraints, land suitability constraints, environmental constraints, ecological constraints and technical constraints. Modeling results indicate that the desired system benefit will be between [15.17, 18.29] × 1012 yuan under the minimum violating probabilities; the optimized areas of commercial land, industrial land, agricultural land, transportation land, residential land, water land, green land, landfill land and unused land will be optimized cultivated land, forest land, grass land, water land, urban land, unused land and landfill will be [228234, 237844] ha, [47228, 58451] ha, [20982, 23718] ha, [33897, 35280] ha, [15215, 15907] ha, [528, 879] ha and [1023, 1260] ha. These data can be used for generating decision alternatives under different scenarios and thus help decision makers identify desired policies under various system-reliability constraints of ecological requirement and environmental capacity. Tradeoffs between system benefits and constraint-violation risks can be tackled. They are helpful for supporting (a) decision of land-use allocation and government investment; (b) formulation of local policies regarding ecological protection, environment protection and economic development; (c) analysis of interactions among economic benefits, system reliability and ecological requirements. Full article
Open AccessArticle Exploration of the Intersectoral Relations Based on Input-Output Tables in the Inland River Basin of China
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4323-4340; doi:10.3390/su7044323
Received: 27 October 2014 / Revised: 27 March 2015 / Accepted: 9 April 2015 / Published: 14 April 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (845 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The conflict among natural resources, environment and economic development is one of the major problems to be solved in the current world. Sustainable development is a powerful tool on the way toward seeking for harmonious development. Due to a lack of resources [...] Read more.
The conflict among natural resources, environment and economic development is one of the major problems to be solved in the current world. Sustainable development is a powerful tool on the way toward seeking for harmonious development. Due to a lack of resources and fragility in ecosystems, the Inland River Basin of China is facing a serious problem that needs to be solved. In this paper, northwest China is chosen as the study area. Based on the interregional input-output table of China for the years 2002 and 2007 and the provincial input-output table of 2007, the I-O table analysis method was adopted to calculate the influence coefficient and response coefficient of the five provinces in northwest China. Through the analysis of the results, the intersectoral relation has been investigated, which could lend some credence for seeking effective ways for sustainable development in western China. The research findings indicate that the tertiary industry and construction sector are capable of greatly driving the national economic development in northwest China and, thus, should be developed preferentially. Full article
Open AccessArticle Dual-Level Material and Psychological Assessment of Urban Water Security in a Water-Stressed Coastal City
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 3900-3918; doi:10.3390/su7043900
Received: 30 November 2014 / Revised: 18 March 2015 / Accepted: 26 March 2015 / Published: 2 April 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (925 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The acceleration of urbanization and industrialization has been gradually aggravating water security issues, such as water shortages, water pollution, and flooding or drought disasters and so on. Water security issues have become a great challenge to urban sustainable development. In this context, [...] Read more.
The acceleration of urbanization and industrialization has been gradually aggravating water security issues, such as water shortages, water pollution, and flooding or drought disasters and so on. Water security issues have become a great challenge to urban sustainable development. In this context, we proposed a dual-level material and psychological assessment method to assess urban water security. Psychological security coefficients were introduced in this method to combine material security and residents’ security feelings. A typical water-stressed coastal city in China (Dalian) was chosen as a case study. The water security status of Dalian from 2010 to 2012 was analysed dynamically. The results indicated that the Dalian water security statuses from 2010 to 2012 were basically secure, but solutions to improve water security status and solve water resource problems are still required. This dual-level material and psychological assessment for urban water security has improved conventional material assessment through the introduction of psychological security coefficients, which can benefit decision-making for urban water planning, management and protection. Full article
Open AccessArticle Economic Impacts of Total Water Use Control in the Heihe River Basin in Northwestern China—An Integrated CGE-BEM Modeling Approach
Sustainability 2015, 7(3), 3460-3478; doi:10.3390/su7033460
Received: 19 November 2014 / Revised: 10 March 2015 / Accepted: 10 March 2015 / Published: 23 March 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1099 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper develops an integrated modeling approach combined with a top-down dynamic computable general equilibrium (CGE) model and a bottom-up bio-economic model (BEM) to study the economic impact of a total water use control policy in the Heihe river basin, northwestern China. [...] Read more.
This paper develops an integrated modeling approach combined with a top-down dynamic computable general equilibrium (CGE) model and a bottom-up bio-economic model (BEM) to study the economic impact of a total water use control policy in the Heihe river basin, northwestern China. The integrated CGE-BEM model is regionally disaggregated with a variety of crops and livestock, and includes the responses of farmers and consequent feedback effects in the regional economic system. The results show that under the total water use control scenario, the water use structure is changed and water use efficiency is improved. The total water use control policy has limited negative impact on the regional economic growth with only a slightly lower growth rate of 13.38% compared with a growth rate of 14% by 2020 under a business as usual water use scenario. However, the total water use control policy has significant negative impacts on several sectors, especially agriculture and food processing. It is expected cropping systems will change through a replacement of water-intensive crops with water-efficient crops. Farmers’ incomes will decrease by 3.14%. In order to alleviate farmers’ income loss and deal with water use conflicts across different sectors and regions, the promotion of migration of surplus labor from agriculture to non-agricultural sectors and the improvement of water use efficiency in agriculture are needed. Full article
Open AccessArticle Scenario Analysis for Water Resources in Response to Land Use Change in the Middle and Upper Reaches of the Heihe River Basin
Sustainability 2015, 7(3), 3086-3108; doi:10.3390/su7033086
Received: 29 November 2014 / Revised: 12 February 2015 / Accepted: 9 March 2015 / Published: 13 March 2015
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (1772 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Water availability is at the core of sustainable socioeconomic development and ecological conservation along with global climate and land use changes, especially in the areas that experience water problems. This study investigated the impacts of land use change on surface runoff and [...] Read more.
Water availability is at the core of sustainable socioeconomic development and ecological conservation along with global climate and land use changes, especially in the areas that experience water problems. This study investigated the impacts of land use change on surface runoff and water yield with scenario-based land use change in the upper and middle reaches of the Heihe River Basin, the second largest inland river basin in the arid region of northwestern China. Firstly, three land use structure scenarios were established, with different water utilization ratio levels (low-level, middle-level and high-level water utilization ratios). Then the spatial pattern of land uses was simulated with the Dynamic of Land System (DLS). Thereafter, the simulated land use data were used as the input data to drive the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model, keeping other input data unchanged to isolate the land use change impacts on surface runoff and water yield. The results showed that the forestland and grassland will expand along with the increase in water utilization ratio. The quick-response surface runoff would decrease significantly due to forest and grassland expansion, which may cause an overall decreasing trend of the water yield. This indicated the unreasonable allocation of water resources may exert negative impacts on the water yield even if the water utilization ratio is increased; therefore, water resources should be reasonably allocated for different land use demand, which is critical for sustainable development. The results of this study will be informative to decision makers for sustainable water resource and land management when facing land use change and an increasing demand for water resources in the Heihe River Basin. Full article
Open AccessArticle Analysis of the Temporal and Spatial Distribution of Lake and Reservoir Water Quality in China and Changes in Its Relationship with GDP from 2005 to 2010
Sustainability 2015, 7(2), 2000-2027; doi:10.3390/su7022000
Received: 22 October 2014 / Revised: 6 January 2015 / Accepted: 23 January 2015 / Published: 12 February 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2072 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We analyzed the spatial distribution of lake and reservoir water quality in China, and the trends from 2005 to 2010, based on monitoring data from 28 large Chinese lakes and reservoirs. We used a comprehensive water pollution index (WPI) to describe water [...] Read more.
We analyzed the spatial distribution of lake and reservoir water quality in China, and the trends from 2005 to 2010, based on monitoring data from 28 large Chinese lakes and reservoirs. We used a comprehensive water pollution index (WPI) to describe water quality and also identified the major pollutants. Using GDP data, we analyzed the relationships between economic factors and water quality. We found that although the water quality of large reservoirs is improving or remaining stable, despite economic growth, the water quality of most lakes either did not change or worsened. The outlook is pessimistic, as water quality in most lakes has decreased to Grade V or worse. The water quality was lowest for northern lakes and highest for southern lakes due to a combination of the local industrial structure and lower rainfall in the north. The primary pollutants generally remained stable during the study period. For some lakes, fluoride and volatile phenols became the primary pollutants, indicating more diverse sources of contamination. We divided the 28 bodies of water into four types based on the median WPI and GDP. The dominant combinations were low WPI with low GDP and high WPI with high GDP, as a result of the balance among economic development, the natural environment and environmental policy. Full article
Open AccessArticle Network Analysis for a Better Water Use Configuration in the Baiyangdian Basin, China
Sustainability 2015, 7(2), 1730-1741; doi:10.3390/su7021730
Received: 30 November 2014 / Accepted: 26 January 2015 / Published: 9 February 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (955 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Nowadays, an increasing shortage of water resources intensifies the contradiction among different water-using sectors in the social-economic-ecological complex system. To adjust water used configuration in a holistic framework, a water use system (WUS) model was constructed with inclusive five water-using sectors including [...] Read more.
Nowadays, an increasing shortage of water resources intensifies the contradiction among different water-using sectors in the social-economic-ecological complex system. To adjust water used configuration in a holistic framework, a water use system (WUS) model was constructed with inclusive five water-using sectors including aquatic systems, primary industry, secondary industry, tertiary industry and resident consumption. The Baiyangdian Basin in Northern China was used as a case area. Six years data from 2008 to 2013 were used to quantify the model. By introducing the ecological network analysis (EAN), we holistically assessed the WUS under different water use configuration. System organization, activities and development degree, etc. were used to character the prosperities of the water use system. Results indicate that the WUS encountered a lasting degradation in system organization (AMI index decreased in an annual rate of 0.6%) and development degree though with an ascending system activities in the studies periods (with an annual growth rate of 11.3%). Scenario analysis results suggest several potential ways to achieve a better water use configuration in this basin, such as environmental and ecological restoration, water-saving technology and water recycling rate, etc. The current study may provide ways to optimize water use structure to balance the interests of different sectors both ecologically and economically. Full article
Open AccessArticle Optimal Water Resources Allocation under the Constraint of Land Use in the Heihe River Basin of China
Sustainability 2015, 7(2), 1558-1575; doi:10.3390/su7021558
Received: 28 October 2014 / Revised: 31 December 2014 / Accepted: 27 January 2015 / Published: 2 February 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1031 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In recent years, water scarcity and irrational utilization have become the pivotal issues for the sustainable development of river basins in China. This paper attempts to propose a new perspective for the optimization of water resources allocation in a typical river basin. [...] Read more.
In recent years, water scarcity and irrational utilization have become the pivotal issues for the sustainable development of river basins in China. This paper attempts to propose a new perspective for the optimization of water resources allocation in a typical river basin. In order to conduct an accurate and feasible program for water resources allocation in the water-deficient river basin, a multi-objective and multi-constraint programming model was developed by embedding land use effect as a constraint on water allocation, which was currently solely decided by water resources demand in different water use sectors. The program includes two layers, namely water allocation among different counties located in the middle reaches of the Heihe River Basin and among domestic, industrial, agricultural and ecological uses within one county. Empirical analysis shows that the structural change of land use has an important influence and restriction on the water resources allocation in the river basin. The least cultivated areas that ensure food security and the constraint of construction land quota have great impact on agricultural and industrial water allocation. Moreover, the quantitative change of ecological land greatly affects ecological water allocation. The results demonstrate that the optimal program calculated from land use embedded model can well predicate the actual situation of water allocation in the future. To ensure regional sustainable development, it is vital that reasonable water-saving measures in each water use sector and ecological protection policies be taken. Full article
Open AccessArticle Spatio-Temporal Characteristics of Rural Economic Development in Eastern Coastal China
Sustainability 2015, 7(2), 1542-1557; doi:10.3390/su7021542
Received: 30 June 2014 / Revised: 7 January 2015 / Accepted: 12 January 2015 / Published: 30 January 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1637 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Although the regional differences of rural economic development can be easily determined, a challenging problem for research studies regarding rural economic development has been the inter-relatedness between different areas, and this challenge has been noted remarkably little in research data to date. [...] Read more.
Although the regional differences of rural economic development can be easily determined, a challenging problem for research studies regarding rural economic development has been the inter-relatedness between different areas, and this challenge has been noted remarkably little in research data to date. As an empirical investigation, this study analyzes the spatio-temporal characteristics of rural economic development from a period beginning in 1978 to the year 2012, in the eastern coastal region of China. In order to determine the special differentiation characteristics of rural economic development, three indexes, namely the Gini coefficient (G), Tsui–Wang index (TW) and Theil index (T), were employed. To explore the inter-relatedness among the different areas, we selected a spatial autocorrelation model. The results indicated that, to a large extent, rural economic development from 1978 to 2012 in the eastern coastal region of China was greatly influenced, and the per capita annual net income changed significantly, due to the process of rapid urbanization and industrialization. Generally speaking, the annual net income constantly increased, from 87.7 USD in 1978 to 1628.1 USD in 2012. However, the calculation results indicated that the per capita income gap in the same province decreased, while the gap between the provinces presented an aggregate trend. The regional polarization widened continuously. It was also found that the spatial positive autocorrelation for the regional economy was significant, with a waving and ascending trend, and the neighbor effect of regional economic growth was continuously strengthened. Qualitative analysis of the driving mechanism was applied, and it was determined that there are three primary factors affecting the development of the rural regions, namely resource endowments, economic location and policies. Full article
Open AccessArticle Land Use/Land Cover Change Induced Impacts on Water Supply Service in the Upper Reach of Heihe River Basin
Sustainability 2015, 7(1), 366-383; doi:10.3390/su7010366
Received: 17 October 2014 / Accepted: 24 December 2014 / Published: 31 December 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1023 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Heihe River Basin is the second largest inland river basin in China, where water supply service in the upper reach has greater influence on the sustainable development of middle and lower reaches. This study analyzed the influence of land use/land cover change [...] Read more.
Heihe River Basin is the second largest inland river basin in China, where water supply service in the upper reach has greater influence on the sustainable development of middle and lower reaches. This study analyzed the influence of land use/land cover change (LUCC) on the water supply service in the upper reach by carrying out scenario simulation. Firstly, we analyzed the LUCC and climate change in the upper reach during 1990–2005; then the water supply service, which was represented by the annual water yield, was estimated with the Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs (InVEST) model. Thereafter three scenarios (precipitation change and LUCC change combined, LUCC change only, and precipitation change only) were established to analyze the impacts of LUCC and precipitation change on the water yield. The results show that the LUCC exerted great influence on water yield, while the impact of precipitation change is even more significant than that of LUCC. Although there are still some uncertainties, the results of this study can still provide valuable reference information for ecological conservation and water resource management in the upper reach of the Heihe River Basin. Full article
Open AccessArticle Implementing Integrated Water Resources Management in the Ebro River Basin: From Theory to Facts
Sustainability 2015, 7(1), 441-464; doi:10.3390/su7010441
Received: 19 August 2014 / Accepted: 24 December 2014 / Published: 31 December 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (956 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this article, we analyze how successful the implementation of Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) in the Ebro river catchment (in Spain) has been. Our main aim is to show some gaps between theory and practice. This implies analyzing the political dimensions [...] Read more.
In this article, we analyze how successful the implementation of Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) in the Ebro river catchment (in Spain) has been. Our main aim is to show some gaps between theory and practice. This implies analyzing the political dimensions of governance and their change and reflecting on the interface between governance and technical knowledge about water. We highlight problems, such as the lack of institutional coordination, blind spots in technical information and path dependences. Actual water management has led to plans for further irrigation even though water availability is, and is expected to continue, shrinking due to climate change and other local factors. To overcome these mismatches, we propose further synchronization, innovative ways of public participation and knowledge sharing between institutions and researchers. As a showcase, we portray a practical real example of a desirable institutional arrangement in one sub-catchment. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Impact of Industrial Transformation on Water Use Efficiency in Northwest Region of China
Sustainability 2015, 7(1), 56-74; doi:10.3390/su7010056
Received: 8 October 2014 / Accepted: 8 December 2014 / Published: 23 December 2014
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (1064 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
China has been stressing the needs of promoting regional sustainable development through industrial transformation. In the northwest region of China, which is faced with both urgent socioeconomic development and fragile ecological conditions, with water scarcity being one of the major characters, the [...] Read more.
China has been stressing the needs of promoting regional sustainable development through industrial transformation. In the northwest region of China, which is faced with both urgent socioeconomic development and fragile ecological conditions, with water scarcity being one of the major characters, the relationship between industrial transformation and water use efficiency ought to be investigated. This paper conducted an empirical analysis of industry transformation’s impact on water use efficiency by using the Input-output analysis. First, we compiled an extended Input-output table with water use account; Second, the input-output analysis model was built based on the extended Input-output table; Then, a counterfactual experiment was performed to document the water use efficiency caused by industrial transformation; Finally, water use efficiency of different sectors in both northwest region of China as a whole and its five provinces were calculated. The results show that water use efficiency of northwest region of China is improved by optimizing industrial structure. Also, sectors with low water use efficiency but huge improvement potential were found out. Then policy implications for regional sustainable development and water resources management are provided at the end of the article. Full article
Open AccessArticle Evaluating Impacts of Industrial Transformation on Water Consumption in the Heihe River Basin of Northwest China
Sustainability 2014, 6(11), 8283-8296; doi:10.3390/su6118283
Received: 6 July 2014 / Revised: 23 October 2014 / Accepted: 24 October 2014 / Published: 19 November 2014
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (2430 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Growing water scarcity is one of the central challenges for sustainability in China, given its burgeoning industry and huge population, especially in the arid and semi-arid inland river basin where precipitation is very limited. Industrial transformation is an important engine of economic [...] Read more.
Growing water scarcity is one of the central challenges for sustainability in China, given its burgeoning industry and huge population, especially in the arid and semi-arid inland river basin where precipitation is very limited. Industrial transformation is an important engine of economic growth, which is required to be implemented by governments at all levels in China. Economic models have generally been applied to evaluate the effects of economic policy change (e.g., industrial transformation or adjustment of price) on the allocation of production factors. The computable general equilibrium (CGE) model is an effective tool to reallocate the primary factors across sectors for different industrial transformation scenarios. In this research, we first briefly introduced the principles and structure of the CGE model, which embeds water resources as a primary factor of production. Then we chose Zhangye as an example to evaluate the impacts of industrial transformation on water consumption under three designed scenarios with the water-embedded CGE model. Simulation results showed that there will be considerable water saving benefit from industrial transformation when the output value of secondary industry and tertiary industry increases and the contribution of the planting sector to the total output value decreases. Finally, we put forward a scheme that can improve water utilization efficiency in policy options. Full article
Open AccessArticle Modeling the Impacts of Urbanization and Industrial Transformation on Water Resources in China: An Integrated Hydro-Economic CGE Analysis
Sustainability 2014, 6(11), 7586-7600; doi:10.3390/su6117586
Received: 5 August 2014 / Revised: 17 October 2014 / Accepted: 23 October 2014 / Published: 29 October 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1128 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Pressure on existing water resources in China is expected to increase with undergoing rapid demographic transformation, economic development, and global climate changes. We investigate the economy-wide impacts of projected urban population growth and economic structural change on water use and allocation in [...] Read more.
Pressure on existing water resources in China is expected to increase with undergoing rapid demographic transformation, economic development, and global climate changes. We investigate the economy-wide impacts of projected urban population growth and economic structural change on water use and allocation in China. Using a multi-regional CGE (Computable General Equilibrium) model, TERM (The Enormous Regional Model), we explore the implications of selected future water scenarios for China’s nine watershed regions. Our results indicate that urbanization and industrial transformation in China will raise the opportunity cost of water use and increase the competition for water between non-agricultural users and irrigation water users. The growth in water demand for domestic and industrial uses reduces the amount of water allocated to agriculture, particularly lower-value and water-intensive field crops. As a response, farmers have the incentive to shift their agricultural operations from traditional field crop production to higher-value livestock or intensive crop production. In addition, our results suggest that growing water demand due to urbanization and industrial transformation will raise the shadow price of water in all nine river basins. Finally, we find that national economic growth is largely attributable to urbanization and non-agricultural productivity growth. Full article
Open AccessArticle Pricing or Quota? A Solution to Water Scarcity in Oasis Regions in China: A Case Study in the Heihe River Basin
Sustainability 2014, 6(11), 7601-7620; doi:10.3390/su6117601
Received: 10 August 2014 / Revised: 14 October 2014 / Accepted: 20 October 2014 / Published: 29 October 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (950 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The conflict between increasing water demand and limited water resources has become a serious threat to oasis regions in China. Solutions to water scarcity have to curb overall water demands, especially reducing agricultural water use. Price control and quantitative control are the [...] Read more.
The conflict between increasing water demand and limited water resources has become a serious threat to oasis regions in China. Solutions to water scarcity have to curb overall water demands, especially reducing agricultural water use. Price control and quantitative control are the two most commonly applied policy instruments for water demand management. This paper used a bio-economic model (BEM) to examine the shadow price of water resources and to investigate farmers’ response to water demand management policies in water scarce regions based on a study in the Heihe River Basin in northwest China. The results indicate that farmers are not very responsive to changes in water price, because it is currently far below the shadow price of water resources in most irrigation zones. A reduction of agricultural water demand could occur only with a large rise in the water price. In comparison, a quantitative control measure is more effective at reducing water use. Concerning the effects on farm income, a price control will cost much more than a quantitative control to save the same volume of water. Hence, a water quota is a more suitable choice for the purpose of reducing agricultural water use, while minimizing farm income loss in the region of this case study. Full article
Open AccessArticle An Extended Input Output Table Compiled for Analyzing Water Demand and Consumption at County Level in China
Sustainability 2014, 6(6), 3301-3320; doi:10.3390/su6063301
Received: 6 March 2014 / Revised: 14 May 2014 / Accepted: 16 May 2014 / Published: 27 May 2014
Cited by 28 | PDF Full-text (837 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper attempts to propose hybrid methodology of compiling water resource extended input-output (IO) table at county level (According to administrative structure of China, a county is subordinate to its province, and provincial level is parallel to state level of other countries). [...] Read more.
This paper attempts to propose hybrid methodology of compiling water resource extended input-output (IO) table at county level (According to administrative structure of China, a county is subordinate to its province, and provincial level is parallel to state level of other countries). By combining Non-Survey-based RAS-technique for possible iterated results and Partial-Survey-based current situation for actual ongoing resource-consumption, we aimed to depict a more accurate structure for water resource consumption and regional economic impact analysis at a county level in the arid area. Additionally, non-parameter methodology was adopted to interpolate missing data. Since human interventions continually have impacted on the natural environment that would finally lead to over-consumption of natural resources, we introduced water consumption caused by cultivation in the Primary Industry and water usage in other industries into a local input-output matrix of Shandan County in Gansu Province, China. Evidence of empirical analysis shows that the modified IO table can more accurately describe economic structure than weighted provincial average IO table does. Moreover, industrialization is ongoing with economic diversity and continually generating water use demand even though also stimulating imports of light industrial products according to the Partial-Survey reports. It demonstrates that industrialization and increasing household consumption drive a high speed of economic growth but with a high cost of water consumption through the Secondary and Tertiary Industries, even at a far rural area. Hence, water scarcity would be a constraint on sustainable development in regions such as Shandan County when taking economic valuation of natural water consumption into account. Full article
Open AccessArticle Development of Web-Based RECESS Model for Estimating Baseflow Using SWAT
Sustainability 2014, 6(4), 2357-2378; doi:10.3390/su6042357
Received: 19 January 2014 / Revised: 4 April 2014 / Accepted: 9 April 2014 / Published: 23 April 2014
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Abstract
Groundwater has received increasing attention as an important strategic water resource for adaptation to climate change. In this regard, the separation of baseflow from streamflow and the analysis of recession curves make a significant contribution to integrated river basin management. The United [...] Read more.
Groundwater has received increasing attention as an important strategic water resource for adaptation to climate change. In this regard, the separation of baseflow from streamflow and the analysis of recession curves make a significant contribution to integrated river basin management. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) RECESS model adopting the master-recession curve (MRC) method can enhance the accuracy with which baseflow may be separated from streamflow, compared to other baseflow-separation schemes that are more limited in their ability to reflect various watershed/aquifer characteristics. The RECESS model has been widely used for the analysis of hydrographs, but the applications using RECESS were only available through Microsoft-Disk Operating System (MS-DOS). Thus, this study aims to develop a web-based RECESS model for easy separation of baseflow from streamflow, with easy applications for ungauged regions. RECESS on the web derived the alpha factor, which is a baseflow recession constant in the Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), and this variable was provided to SWAT as the input. The results showed that the alpha factor estimated from the web-based RECESS model improved the predictions of streamflow and recession. Furthermore, these findings showed that the baseflow characteristics of the ungauged watersheds were influenced by the land use and slope angle of watersheds, as well as by precipitation and streamflow. Full article
Open AccessArticle Analysis of Multi-Scale Changes in Arable Land and Scale Effects of the Driving Factors in the Loess Areas in Northern Shaanxi, China
Sustainability 2014, 6(4), 1747-1760; doi:10.3390/su6041747
Received: 13 January 2014 / Revised: 11 March 2014 / Accepted: 20 March 2014 / Published: 3 April 2014
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Abstract
In this study, statistical data on the national economic and social development, including the year-end actual area of arable land, the crop yield per unit area and 10 factors, were obtained for the period between 1980 and 2010 and used to analyze [...] Read more.
In this study, statistical data on the national economic and social development, including the year-end actual area of arable land, the crop yield per unit area and 10 factors, were obtained for the period between 1980 and 2010 and used to analyze the factors driving changes in the arable land of the Loess Plateau in northern Shaanxi, China. The following areas of arable land, which represent different spatial scales, were investigated: the Baota District, the city of Yan’an, and the Northern Shaanxi region. The scale effects of the factors driving the changes to the arable land were analyzed using a canonical correlation analysis and a principal component analysis. Because it was difficult to quantify the impact of the national government policies on the arable land changes, the contributions of the national government policies to the changes in arable land were analyzed qualitatively. The primary conclusions of the study were as follows: between 1980 and 2010, the arable land area decreased. The trends of the year-end actual arable land proportion of the total area in the northern Shaanxi region and Yan’an City were broadly consistent, whereas the proportion in the Baota District had no obvious similarity with the northern Shaanxi region and Yan’an City. Remarkably different factors were shown to influence the changes in the arable land at different scales. Environmental factors exerted a greater effect for smaller scale arable land areas (the Baota District). The effect of socio-economic development was a major driving factor for the changes in the arable land area at the city and regional scales. At smaller scales, population change, urbanization and socio-economic development affected the crop yield per unit area either directly or indirectly. Socio-economic development and the modernization of agricultural technology had a greater effect on the crop yield per unit area at the large-scales. Furthermore, the qualitative analysis indicated that government policies had a more significant impact on the large-scale arable land areas. Full article

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