Economic and Societal Changes in China and their Effects on Water Use

Hubacek, K. & Sun, L. (2007). Economic and Societal Changes in China and their Effects on Water Use. IIASA Research Report (Reprint). IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: RP-07-008. Reprinted from Journal of Industrial Ecology, 9(1-2):187-200 [2007].

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China's development over the last few decades has been characterized by high rates of economic growth, large-scale migration from rural areas to the fast-growing cities accompanied by changes in lifestyles, and steady population growth. These developments have left deep marks on resource availability and quality. In this article we conduct a scenario analysis of how lifestyle changes and other major developments might affect water resources.

China has the longest tradition in river and water resource management in the world. Its civilization has sought to control the effects of floods and drought for thousands of years and has utilized water flows for irrigation and navigation. In the last century, competing uses such as domestic, municipal, and industrial water consumption have also become reasons for the regulation of and large-scale abstraction of water.

To investigate the major changes in economy and society and their effects on the water situation in China, a set of scenarios is developed and analyzed within a structural economics framework. A hydrological model that represents water flows in the major watersheds is linked to a regional input-output model that represents socioeconomic activities in the major economic-administrative regions of China. The regional analysis shows that the North and Northwest regions are water-scarce and that lifestyle changes and technical shifts are the most important factors driving future water consumption.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Research Report (Reprint))
Uncontrolled Keywords: Input-output analysis (IO); Lifestyle changes; Ecological-economic modeling; Natural resources; Regional disparity; Development strategy
Research Programs: Modeling Land-Use and Land-Cover Changes (LUC)
Bibliographic Reference: Reprinted from Journal of Industrial Ecology; 9(1-2):187-200 [2007]
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:40
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:20

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