Water Resources Management

, Volume 28, Issue 10, pp 2967–2980 | Cite as

Urban Household Water Demand in Beijing by 2020: An Agent-Based Model

  • Xiao-Chen Yuan
  • Yi-Ming WeiEmail author
  • Su-Yan Pan
  • Ju-Liang Jin


Beijing is faced with severe water scarcity due to rapid socio-economic development and population expansion, and a guideline for water regulation has been released to control the volume of national water use. To cope with water shortage and meet regulation goal, it has great significance to study the variations of water demand. In this paper, an agent-based model named HWDP is developed for the prediction of urban household water demand in Beijing. The model involves stochastic behaviors and feedbacks caused by two agent roles which are government agent and household agent. The government agent adopts economic and propagandist means to make household agent optimize its water consumption. Additionally, the consumption is also affected by the basic water demand deduced from extended linear expenditure system. The results indicate that the total water demand of urban households in Beijing will increase to 317.5 million cubic meters by 2020, while the water price keeps growing at a low level. However, it would drop to 294.9 million cubic meters with high growth of water price and low increment in per capita disposable income. Finally, some policy recommendations on water regulation are made.


Water demand Agent Extended linear expenditure system Genetic algorithm 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) under Grant Nos. 71020107026, 51309072; National Basic Research Program of China under Grant No. 2012CB955704; S&T Program of MOST under Grant No. 2012BAC20B01; the Public Welfare Industry Funding for Research and Special Projects of Ministry of Water Resources of China (201301003). We thank editors of WRM and the anonymous referees for their helpful suggestions and corrections on the earlier draft of our paper according to which we improved the content.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiao-Chen Yuan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yi-Ming Wei
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Su-Yan Pan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ju-Liang Jin
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Center for Energy and Environmental Policy ResearchBeijing Institute of Technology (BIT)BeijingChina
  2. 2.School of Management and EconomicsBeijing Institute of TechnologyBeijingChina
  3. 3.School of Civil EngineeringHefei University of TechnologyHefeiChina

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