Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2017, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (3): 259-274.doi: 10.1007/s11442-017-1375-7

• Orginal Article •     Next Articles

Multi-object approach and its application to adaptive water management under climate change

Si HONG1,3(), Jun XIA2(), Junxu CHEN4*, Long WAN1,3, Like NING1,3, Wei SHI2   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Water Cycle and Related Land Surface Processes, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. State Key Laboratory of Water Resources and Hydropower Engineering Science, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China
    3. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    4. School of Resource, Environment and Earth Science, Yunnan University, Kunming 650091, China
  • Received:2016-01-27 Accepted:2016-04-11 Online:2017-03-30 Published:2017-03-30
  • About author:

    Author: Liu Chunla, PhD, specialized in economic geography and regional development. E-mail:

    *Corresponding author: Chen Mingxing, PhD and Associate Professor, E-mail:

  • Supported by:
    Major National Scientific Research Projects, No.2012CB956204;National Basic Research Program of China, No.2015CB452701, No.2010CB428406;National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.51279140


This paper addresses issues on adaptive water management under the impact of climate change. Based on a set of comprehensive indicators of water system, a decision making approach of multi-objects is developed and applied to quantify water adaptive management for the demands of water sustainable use, water environmental protection and eco-water requirement under the climate change. For this study in China, two key indicators are proposed, namely (1) the water resources vulnerability (V) that was represented by integrated sensitivity (S) and resilience (C) of climate change impact on water resources, and (2) the sustainability of socio-economy and water environment, marked by DD, that is integrated scaler of socio-economic development (EG) based on the amount of GDP and the water environment and relative eco-system quality (LI). To find a reasonable solution for adaptive water management, a multi-objective decision making model of adaptive water management is further developed and the multi-objective model was transformed into an integrated single optimization model through developing an integrated measure function, called as VDD=DD/V. This approach has been applied to adaptive water resources planning and management for case study of China with new policy, called as the strict management of water resources based on three red line controls, i.e., the control of total water use by the total water resources allocation, the control of lower water use efficiency by the water demand management and the control of the total waste water load by water quality management in the Eastern China Monsoon Region that covers major eight big river basins including Yangtze River, Yellow River, Haihe River and Huaihe River. It is shown that the synthetic representation of water resource vulnerability and socio-economic sustainability by the integrated objective function (VDD) and integrated decision making model are workable and practicable. Adaptive management effect of the criterion compliance rate and water use efficiency are more appreciable through new water policy of the three red line controls, which can reduce 21.3% of the water resources vulnerability (V) and increase 18.4% of the sustainability of socio- economy and water environment (DD) for the unfavorable scenario of climate change in 2030.

Key words: adaptive water management, climate change, multi-object, vulnerability, sustainability, VDD