The response of blue and green water to climate and land-use change in the Ganjiang River Basin (GRB) is evaluated, via the SWAT model that combines three scenarios (the land-use/land-cover (LULC), climate change, and integrated climate and LULC change scenarios) in the 2040s (2031–2050) and 2060s (2051–2070). The results indicate that, for the GRB, cropland, woodland, and grassland show a decreasing trend, while build-up and water areas show an increasing trend in terms of future land-use change. The climatic conditions projected using NORESM1-M model data under the RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios suggest, respectively, increases in precipitation (31.17 and 27.24 mm), maximum temperature (2.25 and 2.69 °C), and minimum temperature (1.96 and 2.58 °C). Under climate change conditions, blue water is estimated to decrease by up to 16.89 and 21.4 mm under RCP4.5 and RCP8.5, while green water is estimated to increase up to 19.14 and 20.22 mm, respectively. Under the LULC changes, blue water is projected to increase by up to 5.50 and 7.57 mm, while green water shows decreases of 4.05 and 7.80 mm for the LULC2035 and LULC2055 scenarios, respectively. Under the four combined LULC and climate change conditions (RCP4.5_2040s, RCP4.5_2060s, RCP8.5_2040s, and RCP8.5_2060s), blue water tends to decrease by 0.67, 7.47, 7.28, and 9.99 mm, while green water increases by 19.24, 20.8, 13.87, and 22.30 mm. The influence of climate variation on blue and green water resources is comparatively higher than that of the integrated impacts of climate and land-use changes. The results of this study offer a scientific reference for the water resources management and planning department responsible for scheduling water resource management plan in the GRB.


  • This study investigates the effects of climate changes and land-use changes on blue/green water.

  • The NORESM1-M model data from the CMIP5 are combined with the SWAT model to analyse the influence of future climate changes on blue/green water.

  • The CA–Markov model is applied to generate future land-use scenarios.

  • Multiple climate and land-use scenarios are set to quantitatively analyse the changes of blue/green water.

Graphical Abstract

Graphical Abstract
Graphical Abstract
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