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Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 756; doi:10.3390/su9050756

Trend Analysis of Water Poverty Index for Assessment of Water Stress and Water Management Polices: A Case Study in the Hexi Corridor, China

1
Key Laboratory of Ecohydrology of Inland River Basin, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Lanzhou 730000, China
2
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
3
School of Agricultural, Computational and Environmental Sciences, International Centre for Applied Climate Sciences (ICACS), Institute of Agriculture and Environment (IAg & E), University of Southern Queensland, Springfield QLD 4300, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vincenzo Torretta
Received: 15 February 2017 / Revised: 30 April 2017 / Accepted: 3 May 2017 / Published: 5 May 2017
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Abstract

The Hexi Corridor, an important part of the Silk Road Economic Belt, is considered the poorest, most water scarce, and most ecologically fragile area in China. Establishing efficient strategies for water management in an integrated manner is utterly important. This paper evaluates the spatio-temporal trends of water stress (2003–2015) in the Shule (SLRB), Heihe (HHRB), and Shiyang (SYRB) River Basins in the Hexi Corridor based on the Water Poverty Index (WPI). For SLRB, the WPI ranged from 55.3 to 66.4, followed by HHRB (40.1–58.2) and SYRB with WPI = 20.0–43.9. Both SYRB and HHRB showed an improvement in the water situation based on increasing trends, whereas SLRB demonstrated a small decrease. The effectiveness of water policy interventions was evident in SYRB and HHRB, standing at odds with SLRB where interventions required adjustment to ameliorate the water stress. For the start and end years, pentagrams for five components (Resource, Access, Capacity, Use, Environment) demonstrated the merits and weaknesses of WPI as a comparative framework for assessing the water situation. This study also reaffirms the importance of WPI, utilized for investigating the efficacy of implemented water policies and benchmarking the future priorities in basins not only in China but also in other locations where water resources management is a key issue. View Full-Text
Keywords: water poverty index; water stress; water resources management; spatio-temporal changes; Hexi Corridor of China water poverty index; water stress; water resources management; spatio-temporal changes; Hexi Corridor of China
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MDPI and ACS Style

Huang, S.; Feng, Q.; Lu, Z.; Wen, X.; Deo, R.C. Trend Analysis of Water Poverty Index for Assessment of Water Stress and Water Management Polices: A Case Study in the Hexi Corridor, China. Sustainability 2017, 9, 756.

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