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Water 2017, 9(2), 124; doi:10.3390/w9020124

Decoupling Water Consumption and Environmental Impact on Textile Industry by Using Water Footprint Method: A Case Study in China

1,2,* , 1
,
3
,
3,4
and
2,5,*
1
School of Economics and Management, Zhejiang Sci-Tech University, Hangzhou 310018, China
2
Ecological Civilization Research Center of Zhejiang Province, Zhejiang Sci-Tech University, Hangzhou 310018, China
3
Fashion Institute, Zhejiang Sic-Tech University, Hangzhou 310018, China
4
Engineering Research Center of Clothing of Zhejiang Province, Zhejiang Sci-Tech University, Hangzhou 310018, China
5
School of Business, Ningbo University, Ningbo 315211, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Julio Berbel, Carlos Gutiérrez-Martín and Julia Martin-Ortega
Received: 23 November 2016 / Revised: 9 February 2017 / Accepted: 9 February 2017 / Published: 15 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Economics and Policy)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [642 KB, uploaded 15 February 2017]   |  

Abstract

The rapid development of China’s textile industry has led to consumption and pollution of large volumes of water. Therefore, the textile industry has been the focus of water conservation and waste reduction in China’s 13th Five-Year Plan (2016–2020). The premise of sustainable development is to achieve decoupling of economic growth from water consumption and wastewater discharge. In this work, changes in the blue water footprint, grey water footprint, and the total water footprint of the textile industry from 2001 to 2014 were calculated. The relationship between water footprint and economic growth was then examined using the Tapio decoupling model. Furthermore, factors influencing water footprint were determined through logarithmic mean Divisia index (LMDI) method. Results show that the water footprint of China’s textile industry has strongly decoupled for five years (2003, 2006, 2008, 2011, and 2013) and weakly decoupled for four years (2005, 2007, 2009, and 2010). A decoupling trend occurred during 2001–2014, but a steady stage of decoupling had not been achieved yet. Based on the decomposition analysis, the total water footprint mainly increased along with the production scale. On the contrary, technical level is the most important factor in inhibiting the water footprint. In addition, the effect of industrial structure adjustment is relatively weak. View Full-Text
Keywords: textile industry; water footprint; economic growth; decoupling; decomposition textile industry; water footprint; economic growth; decoupling; decomposition
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Li, Y.; Lu, L.; Tan, Y.; Wang, L.; Shen, M. Decoupling Water Consumption and Environmental Impact on Textile Industry by Using Water Footprint Method: A Case Study in China. Water 2017, 9, 124.

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