Climate change impact on water resources has been a global hot issue in recent years. In accordance with the latest research progress, a new meaning of water resources vulnerability (WRV) and a concept of adaptive water management have been proposed. For evaluating WRV under the changing environment in the Huai River Basin (HRB), the sixth largest river basin in China, a quantitative assessment model coupling with exposure, droughts risk, sensitivity, and adaptability of water resources system was established. In addition, the adaptive regulation of WRV under five scenarios of water demand control, water efficiency control, pollutant restriction of the water function zone, the minimum water demand control of the ecosystem and integrated control were analyzed in this study. The results indicated that the region with the greatest value of WRV was Xiaoqing River in the benchmark year (2000) and the most unfavorable scenarios in which 33% and 87% of HRB were the extreme vulnerable regions. Among all adaptive regulation scenarios, the most sensitive scenario was the integrated control, followed by the control of water function zone compliance, water use efficiency, water demand and the minimum water demand control of the ecosystem. This study will provide a scientific foundation to integrated water resources management in China.

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