Water quality in wetlands plays a huge role in maintaining the health of the wetland ecosystem. Water quality should be controlled by an appropriate water allocation policy for the protection of the wetlands. In this paper, models of rainfall/runoff, non-point source pollution load, water quantity/quality, and dynamic pollutant-carrying capacity were established to simulate the water quantity/quality of Xixi-wetland river network (in the Taihu basin, China). The simulation results showed a satisfactory agreement with field observations. Furthermore, a ‘node-river-node’ algorithm that adjusts to the ‘Three Steps Method’ was adopted to improve the dynamic pollutant-carrying capacity model and simulate the pollutant-carrying capacity in benchmark years. The simulation result shows that the water quality of the river network could reach class III stably all year round if the anthropogenic pollution is reduced to one-third of the current annual amount. Further investigation estimated the minimum amount of water diversion in benchmark years under the reasonable water quantity-regulating rule to keep water quality as class III. With comparison of the designed scale, the water diversion can be reduced by 184 million m3 for a dry year, 191 million m3 for a normal year, and 198 million m3 for a wet year.

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