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Open AccessArticle

A New Water Environmental Load and Allocation Modeling Framework at the Medium–Large Basin Scale

1
Ocean College, Zhejiang University, Zhoushan 310058, China
2
Institute of Technical Biology & Agriculture Engineering, Hefei Institutes of Physical Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei 230031, China
3
School of Science, Hangzhou Normal University, Hangzhou 310018, China
4
Ningbo Scientific Research and Design Institute of Environmental Protection, Ningbo 315000, China
5
Center for Global Change and Earth Observation, Michigan State University, 1405 South Harrison Road, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(11), 2398; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11112398
Received: 29 September 2019 / Revised: 4 November 2019 / Accepted: 12 November 2019 / Published: 15 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A Systems Approach of River and River Basin Restoration)
Waste load allocation (WLA), as a well-known total pollutant control strategy, is designed to distribute pollution responsibilities among polluters to alleviate environmental problems, but the current policy is unfair and limited to single scale or single pollution types. In this paper, a new, alternative, multi-scale, and multi-pollution WLA modeling framework was developed, with a goal of producing optimal and fair allocation quotas at multiple scales. The new WLA modeling framework integrates multi-constrained environmental Gini coefficients (EGCs) and Delphi-analytic hierarchy process (Delphi-AHP) optimization models to achieve the stated goal. The new WLA modeling framework was applied in a case study in the Xian-jiang watershed in Zhejiang Province, China, in order to test its validity and usefulness. The results, in comparison with existing practices by the local governments, suggest that the simulated pollutant load quota at the watershed scale is much fairer than the existing policies and even has some environmental economic benefits at the pollutant source scale. As the new WLA is a process-based modeling framework, it should be possible to adopt this approach in other similar geographic areas. View Full-Text
Keywords: total water pollutant control; pollutant load allocation; equity and efficiency; regional and site-specific scale; environmental Gini coefficient models; Delphi-analytic hierarchy process models total water pollutant control; pollutant load allocation; equity and efficiency; regional and site-specific scale; environmental Gini coefficient models; Delphi-analytic hierarchy process models
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  • Externally hosted supplementary file 1
    Doi: 10.17632/25pxyfbpff.3
    Link: https://data.mendeley.com/datasets/25pxyfbpff/3#folder-2605c4a7-df71-448a-940a-3ef124831f0e
    Description: In this paper, a new, alternative, multi-scale, multi-pollution source waste load allocation (WLA) system was developed, with a goal to produce optimal, fair quota allocations at multiple scales. The new WLA system integrates multi-constrained environmental Gini coefficients (EGCs) and Delphi-analytic hierarchy process (Delphi-AHP) optimization models to achieve the stated goal. This dataset consists of the raw data and the source code of models (The multi-constrained environmental Gini coefficients and Delphi-analytic hierarchy process optimization models). The source code of the multi-constrained EGCs and Delphi-AHP models was used to run the program in MATLAB environment to allocate waste load reduction quotas at both the regional scale and the site-specific scale with multiple pollution sources. The raw data mainly consists of the following two parts: (1) The shp files of various geographic information data, which was used to depicture the administrative divisions, pollution source distribution, geographical characteristics and patterns of Xian-jiang watershed; (2) The basic data includes the statistical yearbook data of villages and towns in Ningbo city, the various indicator data using to calculate the weights at criteria level and decision-making level, the contribution coefficients, and the EGC values of the three pollutants. On the basis of these data, a new, alternative, multi-scale, multi-sector optimal WLA framework was developed. The new scheme provides decision-makers critical information (i.e., the best compromise solutions of WLA) and practical guidance as they address the related water pollution control. The results, in comparison with existing practices by the local governments, suggested that the pollution discharge quota at regional scale is much fairer than the existing WLA and, even have some environmental economic benefits at pollutant source scale after optimal WLA. Some important conclusions had been found: 1) Reductions and proportions of pollutants at regional scale are significantly associated with the region’s actual socioeconomic development modes. 2)There are certain characteristics that high-reduced pollution sources tend to share (which are listed in the article). The sources with the above features should be the top priorities in the reduction of removals. 3)Most previous studies reported primarily on the WLA of removals among point sources pollution. Conversely, we found that the industrial pollution source should be the last option for reduction from an environmental-economic benefit perspective. Instead, the often overlooked types, such as agricultural non-point source and domestic sources, deserve more attention, especially in extensive rural areas.
MDPI and ACS Style

Liu, Q.; Jiang, J.; Jing, C.; Liu, Z.; Qi, J. A New Water Environmental Load and Allocation Modeling Framework at the Medium–Large Basin Scale. Water 2019, 11, 2398.

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