Special Issue "Conflict Analysis and Sustainable Management of Water Resources"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Sustainability and Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2018).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Huimin Wang
Website
Guest Editor
State Key Laboratory of Hydrology-Water Resources and Hydraulic Engineering, Business School, Hohai University, Nanjing 211100, China
Interests: management science and system engineering; supply chain and optimal control; economic system analysis; quantitative economics theory and method; water resources system operations and management
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Kevin W. Li
Website
Guest Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Water is a critical, irreplaceable and fundamental resource for human survival, socio-economic development, and healthy ecosystems. Water resources are renewable only if they are properly managed. As a significant portion of the world's population still lacks access to safe water and adequate sanitation, coordinated and cooperative water resources management is important for the sustainable development of the social, economic, and environmental systems around the globe. This Special Issue welcomes theoretical and empirical contributions to the broad issue related to conflict analysis and sustainable management of water resources. Topics include, but are not limited to, the following: equitable allocation of water resources; water footprints; water ecosystems; water resource supply chain management; coordination of human–water systems; water–energy–food nexus; flood risk management. All papers selected for this Special Issue will undergo a rigorous peer-review process.

Prof. Dr. Huimin Wang
Prof. Dr. Kevin W. Li
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • equitable allocation of water resources
  • water footprints
  • water ecosystems
  • water resource supply chain management
  • coordination of human–water systems
  • water–energy–food nexus
  • flood risk management
  • conflict analysis in water resources management

Published Papers (13 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Study on Vulnerability and Coordination of Water-Energy-Food System in Northwest China
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3712; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103712 - 16 Oct 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
Water, energy and food are the basic resources for human survival and development. The coordination development of water-energy-food (W-E-F) is of great significance to promote regional sustainable development. In this study, Northwest China (Shaanxi, Gansu, Qinghai, Ningxia, Xinjiang) was selected as the research [...] Read more.
Water, energy and food are the basic resources for human survival and development. The coordination development of water-energy-food (W-E-F) is of great significance to promote regional sustainable development. In this study, Northwest China (Shaanxi, Gansu, Qinghai, Ningxia, Xinjiang) was selected as the research case, and an evaluation index system was constructed to assess the vulnerability and coordination of water-energy-food (W-E-F) system based on PSR model. Then, a coupled model based on cloud-matter element model and coordination degree model was proposed. The cloud-matter element model was adopted to evaluate the vulnerability level of W-E-F system. The coordination degree model was employed to calculate the coordination degrees of W-E-F system. The results showed that, from 2006 to 2015, the vulnerability levels of W-E-F system in Northwest China were mostly at Level 1. The coordination degrees of W-E-F system belonged to the transitional development level (II) in most years. The vulnerability and coordination problems of W-E-F system in Northwest China were severe. The comprehensive vulnerability index values of W-E-F system were generally on the rise, but far from reaching a good level. Moreover, the comprehensive vulnerability index values and coordination degrees of W-E-F system in Northwest China do not match well. Finally, the countermeasures and suggestions to improve the coordinated development of water resource, energy and food in Northwest China were put forward. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conflict Analysis and Sustainable Management of Water Resources)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Equitable Allocation of Blue and Green Water Footprints Based on Land-Use Types: A Case Study of the Yangtze River Economic Belt
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3556; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103556 - 04 Oct 2018
Cited by 8
Abstract
This paper develops a lexicographic optimization model to allocate agricultural and non-agricultural water footprints by using the land area as the influencing factor. An index known as the water-footprint-land density (WFLD) index is then put forward to assess the impact and equity of [...] Read more.
This paper develops a lexicographic optimization model to allocate agricultural and non-agricultural water footprints by using the land area as the influencing factor. An index known as the water-footprint-land density (WFLD) index is then put forward to assess the impact and equity of the resulting allocation scheme. Subsequently, the proposed model is applied to a case study allocating water resources for the 11 provinces and municipalities in the Yangtze River Economic Belt (YREB). The objective is to achieve equitable spatial allocation of water resources from a water footprint perspective. Based on the statistical data in 2013, this approach starts with a proper accounting for water footprints in the 11 YREB provinces. We then determined an optimal allocation of water footprints by using the proposed lexicographic optimization approach from a land area angle. Lastly, we analyzed how different types of land uses contribute to allocation equity and we discuss policy changes to implement the optimal allocation schemes in the YREB. Analytical results show that: (1) the optimized agricultural and non-agricultural water footprints decrease from the current levels for each province across the YREB, but this decrease shows a heterogeneous pattern; (2) the WFLD of 11 YREB provinces all decline after optimization with the largest decline in Shanghai and the smallest decline in Sichuan; and (3) the impact of agricultural land on the allocation of agricultural water footprints is mainly reflected in the land use structure of three land types including arable land, forest land, and grassland. The different land use structures in the upstream, midstream, and downstream regions lead to the spatial heterogeneity of the optimized agricultural water footprints in the three YREB segments; (4) In addition to the non-agricultural land area, different regional industrial structures are the main reason for the spatial heterogeneity of the optimized non-agricultural water footprints. Our water-footprint-based optimal water resources allocation scheme helps alleviate the water resources shortage pressure and achieve coordinated and balanced development in the YREB. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conflict Analysis and Sustainable Management of Water Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
Centralized and Decentralized Approaches to Water Demand Management
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3466; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103466 - 28 Sep 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
Centralized and decentralized procedures to assess the impacts of water demand management on a water system and its users are investigated and compared. Within the centralized approach, a system-wide optimization technique is firstly utilized to estimate the overall optimal net benefits when the [...] Read more.
Centralized and decentralized procedures to assess the impacts of water demand management on a water system and its users are investigated and compared. Within the centralized approach, a system-wide optimization technique is firstly utilized to estimate the overall optimal net benefits when the water demand management initiatives are implemented. Cooperative game-theoretic methods are used to fairly redistribute the additional net benefits. In terms of the decentralized perspective, an agent-based modelling framework is adopted to permit each user to make independent decisions on whether to conserve water or consume extra water and how much to conserve or consume by solving individual optimization problems. For comparison purposes, both the centralized and decentralized approaches are applied to a case study reflecting an actual situation in the South Saskatchewan River basin in Alberta, Canada. Both methods provide positive incentives to encourage users to conserve water while maintaining at least the same level of economic benefits such that system-wide productivity is improved. Moreover, the study demonstrates that the centralized method produces greater overall net benefits, but the users may be less motivated to participate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conflict Analysis and Sustainable Management of Water Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
Agricultural Drought Risk Evaluation Based on an Optimized Comprehensive Index System
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3465; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103465 - 28 Sep 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
In this study, a new optimized comprehensive drought index system (OCDIS) was developed based on pressure-state-response (PSR) and random forest (RF). Then the pressure, state, response, and integrated agricultural drought risk were evaluated according to the synthetic-weight variable fuzzy set (SW-VFS) model. Finally, [...] Read more.
In this study, a new optimized comprehensive drought index system (OCDIS) was developed based on pressure-state-response (PSR) and random forest (RF). Then the pressure, state, response, and integrated agricultural drought risk were evaluated according to the synthetic-weight variable fuzzy set (SW-VFS) model. Finally, the countermeasures in terms of pressure, state, and response were discussed. The proposed index has been implemented in Qujing, Yunnan Province, China. The results showed that of the 10 indices included in the OCDIS, the four most important indices for agricultural drought risk management are reservoir storage capacity, precipitation anomaly percentage, soil moisture, and per capita annual income. The pressure risk and response risk of Malong are relatively higher than other counties. The integrated results indicated that most counties of Quijng have moderate drought risk. The assessment results are consistent with the actual situation of Qujing. The proposed model provides a scientific and objective way to develop the risk index system of agricultural drought. This study can potentially assist government agencies with information on the most important drought impacts and provide the basis for science-informed decision-making. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conflict Analysis and Sustainable Management of Water Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
An Emergency Decision-Making Method for Urban Rainstorm Water-Logging: A China Study
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3453; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103453 - 27 Sep 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
With the rapid development of the urbanization process, rainstorm water-logging events occur more frequently in big cities in China, which causes great impact on urban traffic safety and brings about severe economic losses. Water-logging has become a hot issue of widespread concern in [...] Read more.
With the rapid development of the urbanization process, rainstorm water-logging events occur more frequently in big cities in China, which causes great impact on urban traffic safety and brings about severe economic losses. Water-logging has become a hot issue of widespread concern in China. As one kind of natural disasters and emergencies, rainstorm water-logging has the uncertainties of occurrence, development, and evolution. Thus, the emergency decision-making in rainstorm water-logging should be carried out in stages according to its development trend, which is very complicated. In this paper, an emergency decision-making method was proposed for urban water-logging with a hybrid use of dynamic network game technology, Bayesian analysis, and multi-attribute utility theory. The dynamic game process between “rainstorm water-logging” and “decision-making group” was established and the dynamic generation of emergency schemes was analyzed based on Bayesian analysis in various stages of water-logging. In terms of decision-making attributes, this paper mainly considered two goals, i.e., ensuring smooth traffic and controlling emergency cost. The multi-attribute utility theory was used to select the final scheme. An example analysis in Guangzhou of China showed that the method is more targeted and can achieve emergency management objectives more effectively when compared with traditional methods. Therefore, it can provide reference for the scientific decision-making of emergency management in urban rainstorm water-logging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conflict Analysis and Sustainable Management of Water Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
Future Projected Changes in Local Evapotranspiration Coupled with Temperature and Precipitation Variation
Sustainability 2018, 10(9), 3281; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10093281 - 14 Sep 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
Evapotranspiration is the highest outgoing flux in the hydrological cycle in Xinjiang, Northwest China. Quantifying the temporal and spatial patterns of future evapotranspiration is vital to appropriately manage water resources in water shortage drylands. In this study, the Common Land Model (CoLM) was [...] Read more.
Evapotranspiration is the highest outgoing flux in the hydrological cycle in Xinjiang, Northwest China. Quantifying the temporal and spatial patterns of future evapotranspiration is vital to appropriately manage water resources in water shortage drylands. In this study, the Common Land Model (CoLM) was used to estimate the regional evapotranspiration during the period 2021–2050, and its projected changes in response to climate change under two Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) scenarios (i.e., RCP4.5 and RCP8.5) were analyzed using the Singular Value Decomposition (SVD) technique. The results indicated that the mean regional evapotranspiration was comparable under the two scenarios during 2021–2050, with a value of 127 (±11.9) mm/year under the RCP4.5 scenario, and 124 (±11.1) mm/year under the RCP8.5 scenario, respectively. Compared to the historical period of 1996–2005, the annual mean evapotranspiration during 2041–2050 will marginally decrease by 0.3 mm under the RCP4.5 scenario and by 0.4 mm under the RCP8.5 scenario, respectively. Empirical Orthogonal Function (EOF) analyses show that the evapotranspiration in relative high altitudes of Xinjiang present strong variations. The SVD analyses suggest that the changes in evapotranspiration are more closely linked to local precipitation variations than to temperature. The results would provide reliable suggestions to understand future changed in evapotranspiration and improve the regional strategy for water resource management in Xinjiang. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conflict Analysis and Sustainable Management of Water Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
Pricing Strategies for Competitive Water Supply Chains under Different Power Structures: An Application to the South-to-North Water Diversion Project in China
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2892; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082892 - 15 Aug 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
Under two different power structures, where the supplier and the distributor, respectively, are modeled as the leader, this paper studies water pricing strategies in two competing water resources supply chains. We assume that each water supply chain consists of a risk-neutral water supplier [...] Read more.
Under two different power structures, where the supplier and the distributor, respectively, are modeled as the leader, this paper studies water pricing strategies in two competing water resources supply chains. We assume that each water supply chain consists of a risk-neutral water supplier and a risk-neutral water distributor. We build different decision models for two competitive water resources supply chains, derive the optimal decision strategies for the water supply chain members, and analyze how competition intensity affects these decisions. Analytical results show that when the supplier is the leader, its water wholesale price is always higher than that when the distributor serves as the leader. On the other hand, the retail price and the two supply chains’ channel profits depend on the competition intensity, but are independent of the power structure. To illustrate the proposed models, we apply them to examine the water pricing strategies in the South-to-North Water Diversion Project in China. The results showed significant insights into the pricing strategies of water resources in different routes of this massive water diversion project. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conflict Analysis and Sustainable Management of Water Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
Quantifying the Role of Large Floods in Riverine Nutrient Loadings Using Linear Regression and Analysis of Covariance
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2876; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082876 - 13 Aug 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
This study analyzes the role of large river flow events in annual loads, for three constituents and for up to 32 years of daily data at multiple watersheds with different land-uses. Prior studies were mainly based on simple descriptive statistics, such as the [...] Read more.
This study analyzes the role of large river flow events in annual loads, for three constituents and for up to 32 years of daily data at multiple watersheds with different land-uses. Prior studies were mainly based on simple descriptive statistics, such as the percentage of nutrient loadings transported during several of the largest river flows, while this study uses log-regression and analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) to describe and quantify the relationships between large flow events and nutrient loadings. Regression relationships were developed to predict total annual loads based on loads exported by the largest events in a year for nitrate plus nitrite nitrogen (NO3-N + NO2-N, indicated as total oxidized nitrogen; TON), total phosphorus (TP), and suspended solids (SS) for eight watersheds in the Lake Erie and Ohio River basins. The median prediction errors for annual TON, TP, and SS loads from the top five load events for spatially aggregated watersheds were 13.2%, 18.6%, and 13.4%, respectively, which improve further on refining the spatial scales. ANCOVA suggests that the relationships between annual loads and large load events are regionally consistent. The findings outline the dominant role of large hydroclimatic events, and can help to improve the design of pollutant monitoring and agricultural conservation programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conflict Analysis and Sustainable Management of Water Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
Measuring Social Vulnerability to Flood Disasters in China
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2676; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082676 - 30 Jul 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
To proactively prevent losses from flood disasters and subsequent potential human conflicts, it is critical to measure the social vulnerability of a country or a region to flood. In this article, we first propose a list of potential indicators for measuring this social [...] Read more.
To proactively prevent losses from flood disasters and subsequent potential human conflicts, it is critical to measure the social vulnerability of a country or a region to flood. In this article, we first propose a list of potential indicators for measuring this social vulnerability. These indicators’ significances are then tested based on their correlation coefficients with a vulnerability index obtained using nonparametric Data Envelopment Analysis. In the final measurement system, there are nine indicators: the proportion of the primary industry, infrastructure development level, income gap between urban and rural residents, the proportion of population over 60 years old, the proportion of children under 14 years old, the number of people receiving minimum income assistance, and the number of disasters per year. We then conduct principal component analysis to evaluate the social vulnerability level. Our results show that the social vulnerability level is mostly impacted by the economic principal component and the demographic and social security principal component. Moreover, our results also confirm that the social vulnerability level to flood in China declined overall from 2003 to 2015. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conflict Analysis and Sustainable Management of Water Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
Investigation about the Impact of Tourism Development on a Water Conservation Area in Taiwan
Sustainability 2018, 10(7), 2328; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072328 - 05 Jul 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
The current state of tourism development in a water conservation area of Taiwan was investigated from the perspective of different stakeholders. An analytical framework was constructed using grounded theory, whereas data collection was performed through field observations, questionnaire surveys, and semi-structured interviews. The [...] Read more.
The current state of tourism development in a water conservation area of Taiwan was investigated from the perspective of different stakeholders. An analytical framework was constructed using grounded theory, whereas data collection was performed through field observations, questionnaire surveys, and semi-structured interviews. The 1290 questionnaire responses were analyzed via statistical methods and multi-perspective analysis. Stakeholder responses varied owing to differences in their interests, needs, and perception of the overall state of development. In the absence of clear policies and plans for each village around the water conservation area, the opinions of the stakeholders will diverge regarding labor and technical expertise, product features, village cohesion, the release of flora and fauna into the wild, tourism image, ecological damage, village transportation, and service quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conflict Analysis and Sustainable Management of Water Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
Copula-Based Joint Probability Analysis of Compound Floods from Rainstorm and Typhoon Surge: A Case Study of Jiangsu Coastal Areas, China
Sustainability 2018, 10(7), 2232; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072232 - 28 Jun 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
Coastal areas are vulnerable to floods caused by rainstorms and typhoons. It is necessary to ascertain the risk of floods caused by both of these extreme weather events. A conceptual risk model is proposed to evaluate the rainstorm risk, typhoon surge risk, and [...] Read more.
Coastal areas are vulnerable to floods caused by rainstorms and typhoons. It is necessary to ascertain the risk of floods caused by both of these extreme weather events. A conceptual risk model is proposed to evaluate the rainstorm risk, typhoon surge risk, and the compound risk in the coastal areas of Jiangsu Province during the period of 1960–2012. The results of the model show that the typhoon surge risk in the study region is greater than the rainstorm risk. Three Archimedean copulas were used to fit the joint probability distributions of the compound events. The Frank copula and the Gumbel copula proved to be the best-fitting joint distribution function for the Huaibei plain district and the Lixiahe district, respectively. The probability of the extreme compound events not happening is less than 90% in the study region. This means that the flood risk is mainly subject to the encounter of a low-level rainstorm and a low-level typhoon surge. The study shows that the northern region of Jiangsu Province is more vulnerable to the compound risk, and that we should pay more attention to the floods caused by the compound events of rainstorm and typhoon surge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conflict Analysis and Sustainable Management of Water Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
Inter-Basin Water Transfer Green Supply Chain Equilibrium and Coordination under Social Welfare Maximization
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 1229; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041229 - 17 Apr 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
The inter-basin water transfer (IBWT) projects have quasi-public-welfare characteristics, whose operations should take into account the water green level (WGL) and social welfare maximization (SWM). This paper explores the interactions between multiple stakeholders of an IBWT green supply chain through the game-theoretic and [...] Read more.
The inter-basin water transfer (IBWT) projects have quasi-public-welfare characteristics, whose operations should take into account the water green level (WGL) and social welfare maximization (SWM). This paper explores the interactions between multiple stakeholders of an IBWT green supply chain through the game-theoretic and coordination research approaches considering the government’s subsidy to the WGL improvement under the SWM. The study and its findings complement the IBWT literature in the area of the green supply chain and social welfare maximization modeling. The analytical modeling results with and without considering the SWM are compared. A numerical analysis for a hypothetical IBWT green supply chain is conducted to draw strategic insights from this study. The research results indicate that (1) If the SWM is not considered, coordination strategy could effectively improve the operations performances of the IBWT supply chain and its members, the consumers’ surplus, and the social welfare when compared with the equilibrium strategy; (2) If the SWM is considered, the IBWT green supply chain and its members have a strong intention to adopt the equilibrium strategy to gain more profits, while the government has a strong intention to encourage the IBWT green supply chain and its members to adopt the coordination strategy to maximize social welfare with a smaller public subsidy; (3) The government’s subsidy policy should be designed and provided to encourage the IBWT green supply chain and its members to improve WGL and pursue the SWM, and a subsidy threshold policy can be designed to maximize social welfare with a lower subsidy budget: only when the IBWT green supply chain and its members adopt the coordination strategy can they get a subsidy from the government. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conflict Analysis and Sustainable Management of Water Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
A Method of Evaluating Ecological Compensation Under Different Property Rights and Stages: A Case Study of the Xiaoqing River Basin, China
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 615; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10030615 - 27 Feb 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
To solve the problem of unitary ecological compensation standards in river basins by scientifically clarifying the compensation for ecological protection investments and for pollution, this research divided ecological environment property relations between the upstream and downstream into three types: downstream ecological compensation for [...] Read more.
To solve the problem of unitary ecological compensation standards in river basins by scientifically clarifying the compensation for ecological protection investments and for pollution, this research divided ecological environment property relations between the upstream and downstream into three types: downstream ecological compensation for the upstream, upstream ecological compensation for the downstream and sharing the rights of the ecological environment. The various compensation standards were divided into three stages according to the location quotient and pollutant concentration. Calculation and analysis were performed for the ecological compensation of the Xiaoqing River Basin at the junction of Jinan City and Binzhou City of Shandong Province as an example. The results showed that: (1) the downstream compensations for the three stages were 2.139 billion yuan, 2.349 billion yuan and 2.489 billion yuan when only the downstream ecological compensation for the upstream was considered; (2) the compensations for the three stages were 88 million yuan, 107 million yuan, 124 million yuan when only the upstream ecological compensation for the downstream was considered; and (3) the compensations in the three stages were 2.051 billion yuan, 2.242 billion yuan, 2.365 billion yuan when ecological environment rights were shared. Under this property relation, the ecological compensation standard considering water quality and water yield and the goal of ecological environmental protection are clear and the content of compensation is complete, which is easily accepted by all parties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conflict Analysis and Sustainable Management of Water Resources)
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