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Risk Assessment of Water Resources Carrying Capacity in China
Journal of the American Water Resources Association  (IF3.202),  Pub Date : 2021-07-27, DOI: 10.1111/1752-1688.12936
Aifeng Lv, Yan Han, Wenbin Zhu, Shifeng Zhang, Weihua Zhao

As a fundamental natural resource and a strategic economic resource, water resources play a key supporting role in the process of social and economic development. In this paper, risk factors influencing the water resources carrying capacity (WRCC) were investigated based on risk theory and resources carrying capacity theory, and a method for the risk assessment of the WRCC was proposed. The vulnerability of WRCC system was evaluated by using the Fuzzy Comprehensive Evaluation method, the hazard of WRCC system was calculated by using the comprehensive hazard index, and then the risk of WRCC was obtained by combining the vulnerability with the hazard. The risk of WRCC in China due to climate change, urbanization, and industrialization was thoroughly investigated. The results demonstrated that the risk of WRCC was higher in Northern China than in Southern China and was higher in developed areas than in developing areas. The risk was observed to be highest in the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei region. Meanwhile, the results also suggested that the risk of WRCC can be reduced in two ways: (1) Reducing the pressure on the water resources carrying system caused by economic and social activities; and (2) increasing the water resources supply in certain areas. The risk assessment of the WRCC presented here provides a valuable reference for the management and sustainable utilization of water resources in China.