Original Article

Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 463-477

First online:

Catastrophe theory to assess water security and adaptation strategy in the context of environmental change

  • Wang Xiao-junAffiliated withState Key Laboratory of Hydrology-Water Resources and Hydraulic Engineering, Nanjing Hydraulic Research InstituteResearch Center for Climate Change, Ministry of Water ResourcesState Key Laboratory of Water Environment Simulation, School of Environment, Beijing Normal University Email author 
  • , Zhang Jian-yunAffiliated withState Key Laboratory of Hydrology-Water Resources and Hydraulic Engineering, Nanjing Hydraulic Research InstituteResearch Center for Climate Change, Ministry of Water Resources
  • , Shamsuddin ShahidAffiliated withFaculty of Civil Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
  • , Xia Xing-huiAffiliated withState Key Laboratory of Water Environment Simulation, School of Environment, Beijing Normal University
  • , He Rui-minAffiliated withState Key Laboratory of Hydrology-Water Resources and Hydraulic Engineering, Nanjing Hydraulic Research InstituteResearch Center for Climate Change, Ministry of Water Resources
  • , Shang Man-tingAffiliated withState Key Laboratory of Hydrology-Water Resources and Hydraulic Engineering, Nanjing Hydraulic Research InstituteResearch Center for Climate Change, Ministry of Water Resources

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Abstract

Economic development, population growth, urbanization and climate change have led to an increasing water shortage across the globe. Ensuring water security under changing environment will be the greatest challenge for water resources managers in near future. In this paper, catastrophe theory based multi-criteria evaluation model has been proposed to assess water security under different management strategies to recommend the best water management strategy to achieve water security in the context of global environmental change. The assessment model involves future scenarios of climate change, population growth and economic development. Total 16 indicators related to climate, socio-economy and water availability and consumption have been proposed to measure water security under three management strategies viz. business-as-usual, water demand management and water supply management. The model has been applied to Yulin city of North West China to assess water security as well as to identify the water management strategy under changing environment. The results show that under business-as-usual situation the water shortage rate will reach up to 44 % by the year 2020 and up to 70 % by the year 2030 in Yulin. Water supply is required to increase by 41 % to meet the water demand under supply management strategy which is beyond the safe baseline rate. The study reveals that water demand management can reduce the gap between water supply and demand to a reasonable amount and therefore, can be considered as the most effective approach for adapting with environment change.

Keywords

Water security Water resources management Climate change Catastrophe theory Multi-criteria evaluation system