Water Resource Sustainable Utilization (WRSU) is becoming increasingly important, given growing water resource shortages and widening gaps between water supply and demand. Most existing studies have focused on WRSU levels without a dedicated strategy-oriented framework. In addition, uncertainties occur in the process of indicator quantification and grading, leading to a lack of accuracy in the assessment results. Therefore, in this study, stemming from water resource, societal, economic, and environmental dimensions, an indicator system with qualitative description was introduced by Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis to enable development and selection of sustainable water use strategies. A normal cloud model that is capable of addressing uncertainties was used to determine WRSU levels. The comprehensive evaluation results can both reflect the WRSU levels and select the most suitable strategy. The model’s utility was demonstrated by applying it to the case of Shandong province in China. Based on the results, most areas of Shandong province appear to be facing serious unsustainable issues. Appropriate development strategies based on the WRSU levels were provided for improving sustainable use of water resources. The proposed method offers an efficient means for WRSU assessment and strategy development. Moreover, it has the potential to be applied to other water resource issues.
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