This study produced a drought map for the Fenhe River basin covering the period from 150 BC to 2012 using regional historical drought records. Based on meteorological and hydrological features, the characteristics and causes of water scarcity in the Fenhe River basin were examined, along with their impact on the national economy and ecological environment. The effects of water scarcity in the basin on the national economy were determined from agricultural, industrial, and domestic perspectives. The impact on aquatic ecosystems was ascertained through an evolution trend analysis of surface water systems, including rivers, wetlands, and slope ecosystems, and subterranean water systems, including groundwater and karst springs. As a result of these analyses, strategies are presented for coping with water scarcity in this basin, including engineering countermeasures, such as the construction of a water network in Shanxi, and the non-engineering approach of groundwater resource preservation. These comprehensive coping strategies are proposed with the aim of assisting the prevention and control of water scarcity in the arid and semi-arid areas of China.
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