Water crisis is prominent in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, therefore, the internal relations between water utilization changes and socioeconomic development must be urgently analysed. Based on analyses of the spatiotemporal characteristics of total water utilization, the factors that influenced changes in industrial water utilization in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region from 2003 to 2016 were studied using a factor decomposition model. The results show that the scaling effect (SCE) increased water utilization by 31.78 billion m3 over those 13 years and was the only driving effect that caused industrial water utilization to increase. The structural effect (STE) and technological effect (TEE) reduced industrial water utilization by 14.93 and 20.44 billion m3, respectively. The TEE was the main reason for the decrease in industrial water utilization in Beijing, accounting for a reduction of 96.5% in total industrial water utilization. The STE was stronger than TEE in Tianjin, with associated decreases of 94.65% and 90.1% in total industrial water utilization, respectively. In Hebei, the STE and TEE reduced total industrial water utilization by 60.23% and 85.46%, respectively. Adjusting the industrial structure and promoting water-saving technology are efficient methods of alleviating the water shortage in the study area.