With the economic development, the demand for water resources has been increasing dramatically during the last several decades. The sustainable development of water resources has become a major challenge in our society. As the largest economic center in west China, Chongqing was chosen as a typical unit to investigate this issue by using statistical data of fifteen years. In this study, the complexity of the water resource system was simplified through hierarchical structure analysis. Then, grey relational analysis was used to measure hierarchical correlation degree. The correlation between the levels of water consumption was analyzed, especially between water consumption and socio-economic indicators. Based on the result of hierarchical grey evaluation, three conclusions were drawn: (1) from the water consumption-oriented aspect, the correlation rankings, from high to low, are production water use, domestic water use, and eco-environmental water use respectively; (2) from industrial structure aspect, the secondary industry has the highest grey relational degree, which is followed by the primary industry (agriculture); and (3) from the economic and social indicators aspect, many significant factors are highly related to water consumption, such as precipitation, urbanization rate, total population, GDP, the proportion of output value of the three industries and residential water price. In this paper, to achieve the goal of the strictest system of water resource management during the 13th Five-Year Period, the corresponding policy suggestions are proposed for the municipal government of Chongqing.
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