The research purpose of this study was to uncover the grouping of the water supply-and-demand structure in the Yellow River Basin (YRB) of China, focusing on the balance between groundwater and surface-water. Comparing the structure of water usage and the structure of groundwater usage estimated by previous studies in each region, 35 municipalities were selected and they were classified into 12 catchments in focusing on the geographical location and the similarity of the shape of the structure of water supply-and-demand. In the upper reaches, surface-water is mainly used and the share of agricultural usage is small, therefore, seasonal variability of groundwater usage is small. On the other hand, in the middle and the lower reaches, the share of groundwater is large and the share of agricultural usage is large, therefore, seasonal variability of groundwater usage is large. Especially, these characteristics are obvious in the Loess Plateau. In addition, surface-water is mainly used again in the lowermost reaches. The results qualitatively identify the spatial pattern of the classification of water supply-and-demand structure and investigate the geographical heterogeneity within each catchment. Performing a GIS (Geographic Information System) -based estimation is meaningful for grasping the geospatial pattern of water supply-and-demand structure and for providing an area-by-area report of the situation of the water resource usage. It is hoped that this study serves as an academic reference for optimizing the water resource management and for providing some policy recommendations on resource’s sustainability by using a GIS-based approach.
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