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Sustainability 2015, 7(10), 13206-13221; doi:10.3390/su71013206

The Evaluation of Water Footprints and Sustainable Water Utilization in Beijing

1
State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China
2
Beijing Water Science and Technology Institute, Beijing 100048, China
3
Department of Quantitative & Technical Economics, Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing 102488, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Guoping Zhang
Received: 5 June 2015 / Revised: 24 August 2015 / Accepted: 22 September 2015 / Published: 25 September 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Footprints and Sustainable Water Allocation)
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Abstract

The water footprint approach is superior to the traditional approaches applied in water management. The water footprint can be regarded as a comprehensive indicator of freshwater resources appropriation, next to the traditional and restricted measure of water withdrawal. This study took the megacity of Beijing in North China as a case study to evaluate the sustainability of water utilization by calculating the water footprint in 2007 and 2010, based on real and virtual water consumption. The results show that the water footprint of the inhabitants of Beijing is decreasing, while the degree of water import dependency is increasing. Although the pressure of water scarcity in Beijing was slightly alleviated, the current situation of water shortage remains an enormous challenge, as the water footprint per capita is nearly 10 times higher than the water resources available. Therefore, water utilization in Beijing remains unsustainable. The improvement of water resources utilization efficiency, that encompasses water saving, is proposed as a key measure in the mitigation of water shortage. View Full-Text
Keywords: water footprint; water resource; sustainable utilization; evaluation; Beijing water footprint; water resource; sustainable utilization; evaluation; Beijing
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Ma, D.; Xian, C.; Zhang, J.; Zhang, R.; Ouyang, Z. The Evaluation of Water Footprints and Sustainable Water Utilization in Beijing. Sustainability 2015, 7, 13206-13221.

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