Xiang Li Dongqin Yin Xuejun Zhang Barry F.W. Croke Danhong Guo Jiahong Liu Anthony J. Jakeman Ruirui Zhu Li Zhang Xiangpeng Mu Fengran Xu Qian Wang
The Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei (Jingjinji) region is the most densely populated region in China and suffers from severe water resource shortage, with considerable water-related issues emerging under a changing context such as construction of water diversion projects (WDP), regional synergistic development, and climate change. To this end, this paper develops a framework to examine the water resource security for 200 counties in the Jingjinji region under these changes. Thus, county-level water resource security is assessed in terms of the long-term annual mean and selected typical years (i.e., dry, normal, and wet years), with and without the WDP, and under the current and projected future (i.e., regional synergistic development and climate change). The outcomes of such scenarios are assessed based on two water-crowding indicators, two use-to-availability indicators, and one composite indicator. Results indicate first that the water resources are distributed unevenly, relatively more abundant in the northeastern counties and extremely limited in the other counties. The water resources are very limited at the regional level, with the water availability per capita and per unit gross domestic product (GDP) being only 279/290 m3 and 46/18 m3 in the current and projected future scenarios, respectively, even when considering the WDP. Second, the population carrying capacity is currently the dominant influence, while economic development will be the controlling factor in the future for most middle and southern counties. This suggests that significant improvement in water-saving technologies, vigorous replacement of industries from high to low water consumption, as well as water from other supplies for large-scale applications are greatly needed. Third, the research identifies those counties most at risk to water scarcity and shows that most of them can be greatly relieved after supplementation by the planned WDP. Finally, more attention should be paid to the southern counties because their water resources are not only limited but also much more sensitive and vulnerable to climate change. This work should benefit water resource management and allocation decisions in the Jingjinji region, and the proposed assessment framework can be applied to other similar problems.
Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei; water resource security; water diversion project; regional synergistic development; climate change