Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 23, pp 23328–23341 | Cite as

Water shortage risk assessment considering large-scale regional transfers: a copula-based uncertainty case study in Lunan, China

  • Xueping Gao
  • Yinzhu Liu
  • Bowen Sun
Research Article


The risk of water shortage caused by uncertainties, such as frequent drought, varied precipitation, multiple water resources, and different water demands, brings new challenges to the water transfer projects. Uncertainties exist for transferring water and local surface water; therefore, the relationship between them should be thoroughly studied to prevent water shortage. For more effective water management, an uncertainty-based water shortage risk assessment model (UWSRAM) is developed to study the combined effect of multiple water resources and analyze the shortage degree under uncertainty. The UWSRAM combines copula-based Monte Carlo stochastic simulation and the chance-constrained programming-stochastic multiobjective optimization model, using the Lunan water-receiving area in China as an example. Statistical copula functions are employed to estimate the joint probability of available transferring water and local surface water and sampling from the multivariate probability distribution, which are used as inputs for the optimization model. The approach reveals the distribution of water shortage and is able to emphasize the importance of improving and updating transferring water and local surface water management, and examine their combined influence on water shortage risk assessment. The possible available water and shortages can be calculated applying the UWSRAM, also with the corresponding allocation measures under different water availability levels and violating probabilities. The UWSRAM is valuable for mastering the overall multi-water resource and water shortage degree, adapting to the uncertainty surrounding water resources, establishing effective water resource planning policies for managers and achieving sustainable development.


Water shortage risk Uncertainty Joint probability Large-scale regional transfers 


Funding information

The research was supported by the National Science and Technology Support Program of China (2015BAB07B02), Science Fund for Creative Research Groups of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51621092), and National Natural Science Foundation of China (51609166).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Hydraulic Engineering Simulation and SafetyTianjin UniversityTianjinChina

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