Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2017, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (12): 1450-1462.doi: 10.1007/s11442-017-1446-9

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatial econometric analysis on influencing factors of water consumption efficiency in urbanizing China

Chao BAO1,2,3(), Xiaojie CHEN1,2,3,4   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resource Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    3. College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    4. China Urban Construction Design & Research Institute CO.LTD, Beijing 100120, China;
  • Received:2017-03-04 Accepted:2017-06-13 Online:2017-12-10 Published:2017-12-10
  • About author:

    Author: Bao Chao (1978-), PhD and Associate Professor, specialized in urbanization and urban sustainable development. E-mail:

  • Supported by:
    Major Projects of the National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41590844;National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41571156;Service Project on the Cultivation and Construction for the Characteristic Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, No.TSYJS02


Due to the limitation of total amount of water resources, it is necessary to enhance water consumption efficiency to meet the increasing water demand of urbanizing China. Based on the panel data of 31 provinces in China in 1997-2013, we analyze the influencing factors of water consumption efficiency by spatial econometric models. Results show that, 1) Due to the notable spatial autocorrelation characteristics of water consumption efficiency among different provinces in China, general panel data regression model which previous studies often used may be improper to reveal its influencing factors. However, spatial Durbin model may best estimate their relationship. 2) Water consumption efficiency of a certain province may be influenced not only by its socio-economic and eco-environmental indicators, but also by water consumption efficiency in its neighboring provinces. Moreover, it may be influenced by the neighboring provinces’ socio-economic and eco-environmental indicators. 3) For the macro average case of the 31 provinces in China, if water consumption efficiency in neighboring provinces increased 1%, water consumption efficiency of the local province would increase 0.34%. 4) Among the ten specific indicators we selected, per capita GDP and urbanization level of itself and its neighboring provinces have the most prominent positive effects on water consumption efficiency, and the indirect effects of neighboring provinces are much larger. Therefore, the spatial spillover effects of the economic development level and urbanization level are the primary influencing factors for improving China’s water consumption efficiency. 5) Policy implications indicate that, to improve water consumption efficiency, each province should properly consider potential influences caused by its neighboring provinces, especially needs to enhance the economic cooperation and urbanization interaction with neighboring provinces.

Key words: water consumption efficiency, water resources management, urbanization, spatial spillover effects, spatial Durbin model