Skip to main content
Log in

Mapping Water Vulnerability of the Yangtze River Basin: 1994–2013

Environmental Management Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

A holistic understanding of the magnitude and long-term trend of water vulnerability is essential for making management decisions in a given river basin. Existing procedures to assess the spatiotemporal dynamic of water vulnerability in complex mega-scale river basins are inadequate; a new method named ensemble hydrologic assessment was proposed in this study, which allows collection of data and knowledge about many aspects of water resources to be synthesized in a useful way for vulnerability assessment. The objective of this study is to illustrate the practical utility of such an integrated approach in examining water vulnerability in the Yangtze River Basin. Overall, the results demonstrated that the ensemble hydrologic assessment model could largely explain the spatiotemporal evolution of water vulnerability. This paper improves understanding of the status and trends of water resources in the Yangtze River Basin.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Institutional subscriptions

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10

References

  • Akay D, Atak M (2007) Grey prediction with rolling mechanism for electricity demand forecasting of Turkey. Energy 32:1670–1675

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Alessa L, Kliskey A, Lammers R, Arp C, White D, Hinzman L, Busey R (2008) The arctic water resource vulnerability index: an integrated assessment tool for community resilience and vulnerability with respect to freshwater. Environ Manage 42:523–541

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Arnold JG, Kiniry JG, Srinivasan R (2013) Soil and Water Assessment Tool input/output documentation version 2012. http://swat.tamu.edu/documentation/. Accessed 20 Jun 2016

  • Bangash RF, Passuello A, Hammond M, Schuhmacher M (2012) Water allocation assessment in low flow river under data scarce conditions: a study of hydrological simulation in Mediterranean basin. Sci Total Environ 440:60–71

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Bierkens MFP (2015) Global hydrology 2015: state, trends, and directions. Water Resour Res 51:4923–4947

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Botter G, Basso S, Porporato A, Rodriguez-Iturbe I, Rinaldo A (2010) Natural streamflow regime alterations: damming of the Piave river basin (Italy). Water Resour Res 46.

  • Candela L, Tamoh K, Olivares G, Gomez M (2012) Modelling impacts of climate change on water resources in ungauged and data-scarce watersheds. Sci Total Environ 440:253–260

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Castellarin A, Galeati G, Brandimarte L, Montanari A, Brath A (2004) Regional flow-duration curves: reliability for ungauged basins. Adv Water Resour 27:953–965

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Castillo CR, Güneralp İ, Güneralp B (2014) Influence of changes in developed land and precipitation on hydrology of a coastal Texas watershed. Appl Geogr 47:154–167

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Chang J, Li J, Lu D, Zhu X, Lu C, Zhou Y, Deng C (2010) The hydrological effect between Jingjiang River and Dongting Lake during the initial period of Three Gorges Project operation. J Geogr Sci 20:771–786

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Chaves HM, Alipaz S (2007) An integrated indicator based on basin hydrology, environment, life, and policy: the watershed sustainability index. Water Resour Manage 21:883–895

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Chen H, Guo S, Xu C, Singh VP (2007) Historical temporal trends of hydro-climatic variables and runoff response to climate variability and their relevance in water resource management in the Hanjiang basin. J Hydrol 344:171–184

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cohen A, Sullivan CA (2010) Water and poverty in rural China: developing an instrument to assess the multiple dimensions of water and poverty. Ecol Econ 69:999–1009

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dai Z, Du J, Li J, Li W, Chen J (2008) Runoff characteristics of the Changjiang River during 2006: effect of extreme drought and the impounding of the Three Gorges Dam. Geophys Res Lett 35.

  • Dawadi S, Ahmad S (2013) Evaluating the impact of demand-side management on water resources under changing climatic conditions and increasing population. J Environ Manage 114:261–275

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • de Grosbois D, Plummer R (2015) Problematizing water vulnerability indices at a local level: a critical review and proposed solution. Water Resour Manage 29:5015–5035

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • de Leeuw J, Shankman D, Wu G et al. (2010) Strategic assessment of the magnitude and impacts of sand mining in Poyang Lake, China. Region Environ Change 10:95–102

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Deng J (1982) Control problems of grey systems. Syst Control Lett 1:288–294

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Deng J (1989) Introduction to grey system theory. J Grey Syst 1:1–24

    Google Scholar 

  • Dessu SB, Melesse AM, Bhat MG, McClain ME (2014) Assessment of water resources availability and demand in the Mara River Basin. Catena 115:104–114

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dickson SE, Schuster-Wallace CJ, Newton JJ (2016) Water security assessment indicators: the rural context. Water Resour Manage 30:1567–1604

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Draper AJ, Jenkins MW, Kirby KW, Lund JR, Howitt RE (2003) Economic-engineering optimization for California water management. J Water Resour Plan Manage 129:155–164

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Feng L, Hu C, Chen X, Cai X, Tian L, Gan W (2012) Assessment of inundation changes of Poyang Lake using MODIS observations between 2000 and 2010. Remote Sens Environ 121:80–92

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Fukunaga DC, Cecilio RA, Zanetti SS, Oliveira LT, Caiado MAC (2015) Application of the SWAT hydrologic model to a tropical watershed at Brazil. Catena 125:206–213

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gao B, Yang D, Zhao T, Yang H (2012) Changes in the eco-flow metrics of the Upper Yangtze River from 1961 to 2008. J Hydrol 448:30–38

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gao Y, Vogel RM, Kroll CN, Poff NL, Olden JD (2009) Development of representative indicators of hydrologic alteration. J Hydrol 374:136–147

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Guan Y, Zhang X, Zheng F, Wang B (2015) Trends and variability of daily temperature extremes during 1960-2012 in the Yangtze River Basin, China. Global Planet Change 124:79–94

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hamouda MA, El-Din MMN, Moursy FI (2009) Vulnerability assessment of water resources systems in the Eastern Nile Basin. Water Resour Manage 23:2697–2725

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hsu C, Chen C (2003) Applications of improved grey prediction model for power demand forecasting. Energ Convers Manage 44:2241–2249

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kayacan E, Ulutas B, Kaynak O (2010) Grey system theory-based models in time series prediction. Expert Syst Appl 37:1784–1789

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lahoz WA, De Lannoy GJM (2014) Closing the gaps in our knowledge of the hydrological cycle over land: conceptual problems. Surv Geophy 35:623–660

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lawrence PR, Meigh J, Sullivan C (2002) The water poverty index: an international comparison. Department of Economics, Keele University.

  • Legesse D, Vallet-Coulomb C, Gasse F (2003) Hydrological response of a catchment to climate and land use changes in Tropical Africa: case study South Central Ethiopia. J Hydrol 275:67–85

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Li Q (2003) An analysis of push and pull factors in the migration of rural workers in China. Social Sci China 1:125–136

    Google Scholar 

  • Mathews R, Richter BD (2007) Application of the indicators of hydrologic alteration software in environmental flow setting. J Am Water Resour Assoc 43:1400–1413

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mejía A, Rossel F, Gironás J, Jovanovic T (2015) Anthropogenic controls from urban growth on flow regimes. Adv Water Resour 84:125–135

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Moriasi D, Arnold J, Van Liew M, Bingner R, Harmel R, Veith T (2007) Model evaluation guidelines for systematic quantification of accuracy in watershed simulations. Trans ASABE 50:885–900

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Neitsch SL, Kiniry JG, Williams JR (2009) Soil And Water Assessment Tool theoretical documentation version 2009. http://swat.tamu.edu/media/99192/swat2009-theory.pdf. Accessed 20 Jun 2016

  • Nyerges T (2002) Linked visualizations in sustainability modeling: an approach using participatory GIS for decision support. Assoc Am Geog Illust, Los Angeles 18.

  • Palmer MA, Lettenmaier DP, Poff NL, Postel SL, Richter B, Warner R (2009) Climate change and river ecosystems: protection and adaptation options. Environ Manage 44:1053–1068

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Palmer MA, Reidy Liermann CA, Nilsson C, Flörke M, Alcamo J, Lake PS, Bond N (2008) Climate change and the world’s river basins: anticipating management options. Front Ecol Environ 6:81–89

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Plummer R, de Grosbois D, Armitage D, de Loe RC (2013) An integrative assessment of water vulnerability in First Nation communities in Southern Ontario, Canada. Global Environ Change 23:749–763

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Plummer R, de Loe R, Armitage D (2012) A systematic review of water vulnerability assessment tools. Water Resour Manage 26:4327–4346

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Pradhanang SM, Mukundan R, Schneiderman EM et al. (2013) Streamflow responses to climate change: analysis of hydrologic indicators in a New York City water supply watershed. J Am Water Resour Assoc 49:1308–1326

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ravazzani G, Barbero S, Salandin A, Senatore A, Mancini M (2015) An integrated hydrological model for assessing climate change impacts on water resources of the Upper Po River Basin. Water Resour Manage 29:1193–1215

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Richter B, Baumgartner J, Wigington R, Braun D (1997) How much water does a river need?. Freshwater Biol 37:231–249

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Richter BD, Baumgartner JV, Braun DP, Powell J (1998) A spatial assessment of hydrologic alteration within a river network. Regul River 14:329–340

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Richter BD, Baumgartner JV, Powell J, Braun DP (1996) A method for assessing hydrologic alteration within ecosystems. Conserv Biol 10:1163–1174

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Richter BD, Mathews R, Wigington R (2003) Ecologically sustainable water management: managing river flows for ecological integrity. Ecol Appl 13:206–224

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rouholahnejad E, Abbaspour KC, Srinivasan R, Bacu V, Lehmann A (2014) Water resources of the Black Sea Basin at high spatial and temporal resolution. Water Resour Res 50:5866–5885

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Shi L (2008) Rural migrant workers in China: scenario, challenges and public policy. ILO, Geneva

    Google Scholar 

  • Shiklomanov IA (1996) Comprehensive assessment of the freshwater resources of the world: assessment of water resources and water availability in the world. UN.

  • Shrestha RR, Peters DL, Schnorbus MA (2014) Evaluating the ability of a hydrologic model to replicate hydro-ecologically relevant indicators. Hydrol Process 28:4294–4310

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Singh A (2014) Conjunctive use of water resources for sustainable irrigated agriculture. J Hydrol 519:1688–1697

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Singh A, Panda SN (2012) Effect of saline irrigation water on mustard (Brassica Juncea) crop yield and soil salinity in a semi-arid area of North India. Exp Agric 48:99–110

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • State Council of China (2014) Promoting the development of Yangtze River Basin. http://www.gov.cn/zhengce/content/2014-09/25/content_9092.htm. Accessed 20 Jun 2016

  • Sullivan CA (2011) Quantifying water vulnerability: a multi-dimensional approach. Stoch Environ Res Risk Assess 25:627–640

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sullivan CA, Cohen A, Faurès J-M, Santini G (2010) The rural water livelihoods index. http://www.fao.org/nr/water/docs/FAOW_RWLI_paper.pdf. Accessed 20 Jun 2016

  • Sullivan CA, Meigh J (2007) Integration of the biophysical and social sciences using an indicator approach: Addressing water problems at different scales. Water Resour Manage 21:111–128

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sunday RKM, Masih I, Werner M, van der Zaag P (2014) Streamflow forecasting for operational water management in the Incomati River Basin, Southern Africa. Phys Chem Earth 72:1–12

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • United Nations (2015) World population prospects: 2015 revision population database. http://www.un.org/esa/population/unpop.htm. Accessed 20 Jun 2016

  • Vörösmarty CJ, Green P, Salisbury J, Lammers RB (2000) Global water resources: vulnerability from climate change and population growth. Science 289:284–288

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Vogel RM, Fennessey NM (1994) Flow-duration curves. I: new interpretation and confidence intervals. J Water Resour Plann Manage 120:485–504

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Vogel RM, Fennessey NM (1995) Flow duration curves II: a review of applications in water resources planning. J Am Water Resour Assoc 31:1029–1039

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wang W, Shao Q, Yang T, Peng S, Xing W, Sun F, Luo Y (2013) Quantitative assessment of the impact of climate variability and human activities on runoff changes: a case study in four catchments of the Haihe River basin, China. Hydrol Process 27:1158–1174

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Xi X, Poh KL (2015) A novel integrated decision support tool for sustainable water resources management in Singapore: synergies between system dynamics and analytic hierarchy process. Water Resour Manage 29:1329–1350

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Xie X, Cui Y (2011) Development and test of SWAT for modeling hydrological processes in irrigation districts with paddy rice. J Hydrol 396:61–71

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zhang S, Yang D, Xu X (2015) Driving factors for runoff decline in the Upper Hanjiang basin, a major water source for the South-to-North Water Diversion Project in China. Proc Int Assoc Hydrol Sci 368:63–68

    Google Scholar 

  • Zhao G, Hoermann G, Fohrer N, Zhang Z, Zhai J (2010) Streamflow trends and climate variability impacts in Poyang Lake Basin, China. Water Resour Manage 24:689–706

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

The authors thank Mr. Jun Wang (Director of Bureau of Hydrology, CWRC, Wuhan, China) for providing the valuable historical observed runoff data of the YRB. We are grateful to Robert Twiss (Emeritus Professor of University of California, Berkeley, San Francisco, USA) for contributing to the engaged discussions and comments, and suggestions during the preparation of this paper. The Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality (no. 15DZ1203606) and the Shanghai Key Lab for Urban Ecological Processes and Eco-Restoration (no. SHUES2015B02) funded this work. The authors thank the editor and the anonymous reviewers who helped to improve this paper with their thorough review.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Yue Che.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Electronic supplementary material

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Sun, F., Kuang, W., Xiang, W. et al. Mapping Water Vulnerability of the Yangtze River Basin: 1994–2013. Environmental Management 58, 857–872 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00267-016-0756-5

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00267-016-0756-5

Keywords

Navigation