Unreasonable development and utilization of resources has caused serious environmental problems, especially water shortage and water pollution. Determining the largest population size and economic scale that water resources can support without destroying the ecological environment in a region, that is, ultimate water resources carrying capacity (UWRCC) helps to realize the sustainable utilization of water resources. UWRCC is a variable value which is easily affected by natural conditions, technical level and economic status. This study proposes a UWRCC research method that combines multi-objective optimization and scenario analysis. This method draws the diagram of UWRCC result sets based on multi-scenario UWRCC calculation, through which UWRCC values under different specific technical and economic levels are easily and quickly obtained. This method has been applied to Yancheng in this study and the quantitative relationship between technical level, economic level and UWRCC of Yancheng is analyzed. Taking Yancheng as the research area, this study analyzes the quantitative relationship between the technical level, economic level and UWRCC of Yancheng. The results show that according to the existing government planning, Yancheng's water resources will be sufficient to support the development of socioeconomic. But the districts of Yandu, Tinghu, and Binghai will experience population and gross domestic product overloading in future years. In addition, the diagram of the UWRCC sets of Yancheng is obtained and it provides a reference for the local water resources management.


  • The characteristic indicators of ultimate water resources carrying capacity (UWRCC) are population and economic scale.

  • A new analysis method of UWRCC was proposed.

  • The UWRCC under different technical and economic levels of Yancheng were calculated.

  • The diagram of the UWRCC result sets of Yancheng was drawn.

  • Yancheng's water resources will be sufficient to support the development in the future.

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