Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2015, Vol. 25 ›› Issue (5): 573-591.doi: 10.1007/s11442-015-1188-5

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Modeling demand/supply of water resources in the arid region of northwestern China during the late 1980s to 2010

Xingran LIU1,2(), Yanjun SHEN1,*(), Ying GUO1, Shuo LI1, Bin GUO3   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Agricultural Water Resources, Center for Agricultural Resources Research, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, CAS, Shijiazhuang 050021, China
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    3. College of Geomatics, Shandong University of Science and Technology, Qingdao 266510, Shandong, China
  • Received:2014-10-27 Accepted:2015-01-15 Online:2015-05-15 Published:2015-05-15
  • Contact: Yanjun SHEN;
  • About author:

    Author: Liu Xingran (1988-), Master Candidate, specialized in ecological hydrology.

  • Supported by:
    National Key Project on Basic Research (973), No.2010CB951003;The National Science and Technology Project, No.2014BAD10B06


Water demand increases continuously with an increasing population and economic development. As a result, the difference between water supply and demand becomes a significant issue, especially in arid regions. To figure out the utilization of water resources in the arid region of northwestern China (ARNWC), and also to provide methodologies to predict the water use in future, three models were established in this study to calculate agricultural irrigation, industrial and domestic water use in the ARNWC from the late 1980s to 2010. Based on river discharges in the region, the supply and demand of water resources at the river basin level were analyzed. The results indicated that agricultural irrigation demand occupies more than 90% of the total water use in the ARNWC. Total water demand increased from 31.97 km3 in the late 1980s to 48.19 km3 in 2010. Most river basins in this arid region were under medium and high water stress. Severe-risk river basins, such as the Shiyang river basin and the eastern part of the northern piedmont of the Tianshan Mountains, were found in this region. It was revealed that the water supply became critical from April to May, which was the season of the lowest water supply as determined by comparing monthly water consumption.

Key words: agricultural irrigation water demand, industrial water demand, domestic water demand, total water demand, supply and demand of water resources, arid region of northwestern China