In this study, an initial water-rights allocation (IWRA) model is proposed for adjusting the traditional initial water-rights empowerment model based on previous water intake permits, with the aim of improving the productivity of water resources under population growth and economic development. A stochastic scenario with Laplace criterion mixed fuzzy programming (SSLF) is developed into an IWRA model to deal with multiple uncertainties and complexities, which includes dynamic water demand, changing water policy, adjusted tradable water rights, the precise risk attitude of policymakers, development of the economy, and their interactions. SSLF not only deals with fuzziness in probability distributions with high satisfaction degrees, but also reflects the risk attitudes of policymakers with the Laplace criterion, which can handle the probability of scenario occurrence under the supposition of no data available. The developed IWRA model with the SSLF method is applied to a practical case in an alpine region of China. The results of adjusted initial water rights, optimal water-right allocation, changed industrial structure, and system benefits under various scenarios associated with risk attitudes and water productivity improvement were obtained and analyzed. It was found that the current initial water-rights allocation scheme based on previous intake water permits is not efficient, and this can be modified by the IWRA model. Based on the strategies of drinking safety and ecological security, the main tradeoff between agricultural and industrial water rights can facilitate optimization of the current initial water-rights allocation. This can assist policymakers in producing an effective plan to promote water productivity and water resource management in a robust and reliable manner.
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