The upstream Yangtze River is located in the southwest of central China, where it flows through several ecosystems and densely populated regions that constitute a unique complex coupled system. To determine how the characteristics of supply and demand in a water-coupled system will vary under the influence of climate change and human activity in this area in the next 85 years, the upper Yangtze basin was considered as the study area and was divided into seven sub-basins according to seven main control sections: Shigu, Panzhihua, Xiluodu, Xiangjiaba, Zhutuo, Cuntan, and Yichang; a method for water supply and demand research considering climate change was proposed. Based on simulated runoff in the study area under changing environmental conditions, this study analyzed the available water supply and constructed a long-term water demand forecasting model using the classified water use index method under macro regulation in the study area from 2016 to 2100. The results show that the total water demand in the upstream Yangtze River appears to first increase and then decrease in 2016–2100 and will reach its peak around 2028. The ecological pressure in the upstream Yangtze River increases gradually from upstream to downstream but will not reach the surface water utilization stress threshold (hereinafter referred to as stress threshold) for the next 85 years. The contradiction between monthly supply and demand is more prominent under ecological restrictions. Under the RCP4.5 scenario, water demand exceeds the stress threshold in each sub-basin across several months (mainly March, April, and May), and the water demand nearly reaches the damage threshold in May as the basin extends below the Zhutuo section.
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