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A Two-stage Approach to Basin-scale Water Demand Prediction


Water demand prediction (WDP) is the basis for water allocation. However, traditional methods in WDP, such as statistical modeling, system dynamics modeling, and the water quota method have a critical disadvantage in that they do not consider any constraints, such as available water resources and ecological water demand. This study proposes a two-stage approach to basin-scale WDP under the constraints of total water use and ecological WD, aiming to flexibly respond to a dynamic environment. The prediction method was divided into two stages: (i) stage 1, which is the prediction of the constrained total WD of the whole basin (T w ) under the constraints of available water resources and total water use quota released by the local government and (ii) stage 2, which is the allocation of T w to its subregions by applying game theory. The WD of each subregion (T s ) was predicted by calculating its weight based on selected indicators that cover regional socio-economic development and water use for different industries. The proposed approach was applied in the Dongjiang River (DjR) basin in South China. According to its constrained total water use quota and ecological WD, T w data were 7.92, 7.3, and 5.96 billion m3 at the precipitation frequencies of 50%, 90%, and 95%, respectively (in stage 1). Industrial WDs in the domestic, primary, secondary, tertiary, and environment sectors are 1.08, 2.26, 2.02, 0.44, and 0.16 billion m3, respectively, in extreme dry years (in stage 2). T w and T s exhibit structures similar to that of observed water use, mainly in the upstream and midstream regions. A larger difference is observed between T s and its total observed water use, owing to some uncertainties in calculating T w . This study provides useful insights into adaptive basin-scale water allocation under climate change and the strict policy of water resource management.

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The authors would like to express their gratitude to all of the reviewers for their valuable recommendations. This study was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No.: Grant No.: 51509127, 91547202, 51210013, 51479216, 51569009 and 91547108).

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Correspondence to Xiaohong Chen.

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He, Y., Yang, J., Chen, X. et al. A Two-stage Approach to Basin-scale Water Demand Prediction. Water Resour Manage 32, 401–416 (2018).

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  • Water demand prediction
  • Two-stage approach
  • Game theory
  • Dongjiang River basin, South China