Abstract

Traditional indicators of water resource utilization degree and efficiency cannot show the stressed relationship between the level of water resource utilization and economic development level in a region. Therefore, this manuscript proposes a generalized index of socio-economic consumption level of water resources. The definition of the index is the ratio of water consumption change for GDP growth per unit, and the potential of water resources exploitation and utilization. The theoretical curve of this index has a rise period, a high value period, and a decline period, which correspond to the take-off period, bottleneck period and maturity period of the regional economic development, respectively. This index can help us find the turning point of water resources restricting economy. The indexes of each year are calculated respectively from 1994 to 2010 of Beijing and Hebei province of China as example. The result shows that both two provinces are in the transitional period from high value period to the decline period. This example shows the universality of Generalized Index of Regional Socio-economic Consumption Level of Water Resources. Setting a target Generalized Index of Regional Socio-economic Consumption Level of Water Resources is consistent with the sustainable development level of regional economy which could promote both regional economic development and water resources protection.

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