Abstract

Global climate change and human activities are increasingly affecting the regional water resource carrying capacity (WRCC). For sustainable development, an important social challenge is understanding the carrying level of regional water resources. In this study, to assess the WRCC status, we used a fuzzy comprehensive evaluation model and combined the natural and social attributes of WRCC. Moreover, from the three dimensions of support force subsystem, pressure force subsystem (PFS), and regulation force subsystem (RFS), 12 evaluation indicators were selected. Furthermore, using the fuzzy comprehensive theory and natural and social comprehensive indicators, we constructed a WRCC-level evaluation model and used it to evaluate the carrying level of two typical cities in China, Shijiazhuang and Langfang, for the 2006–2015 period. The results demonstrate that the regional water-carrying status of each of these cities is slightly above that of WRCC and that carrying levels show an interannual increasing trend. Note that, in both cities, the primary reason for the low regional WRCC is a water shortage, while PFS improvement, supported by an interannual PFS increasing trend during the same time period, is the primary reason for carrying-level improvement for both cities in the past 10 years. For the RFS dimension, evaluation scores were in the range of 2.14–2.98 for Shijiazhuang and 2.12–2.79 for Langfang. Furthermore, the evaluation model and the indicator system demonstrated complementary functionality; thus, our results have an important academic value, particularly with reference for evaluating the WRCC.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • This paper is a good initiative to provide a methodology to evaluate the water resource carrying capacity.

  • For the regional management of water resources, our study provides both the theoretical basis and data support.

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