A Dynamic Model for Vulnerability Assessment of Regional Water Resources in Arid Areas: A Case Study of Bayingolin, China

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Water scarcity is a common problem in many countries, especially those located in arid zones. The vulnerability of water resources due to climate change is an imperative research focus in the field of water resources management. In this study, a System Dynamics (SD) model was developed to simulate the water supply-and-demand process in Bayingolin, a prefecture in China, and to evaluate water resources vulnerability currently as well as in the future. The model was calibrated and validated using historical data. Three alternative scenarios were designed by changing parameters to test the vulnerability of water resources: i) increase the Wastewater Treatment Rate by 50 %; ii) decrease the Irrigation Water Demand per Hectare by 20 %; iii) increase Total Water Supply by 5 %. Results show that the baseline vulnerability of study region is high. The agricultural irrigation is the largest water use, and the water demand structure will change in future. Decreasing the irrigation water demand is the most suitable intervention to relatively reduce the vulnerability. Results also demonstrated that SD is a suitable method to explore management options for a complex water supply and demand system.


Alternative scenarios; Arid regions; Climatic changes; System dynamics; Vulnerability; Water; Water—Management; Water resources management; Water-supply; Water-supply--Management


Civil and Environmental Engineering | Environmental Engineering | Environmental Sciences | Water Resource Management


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