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Journal of Arid Land  2019, Vol. 11 Issue (5): 713-728    DOI: 10.1007/s40333-019-0092-8
Orginal Article     
Impacts of water resource planning on regional water consumption pattern: A case study in Dunhuang Oasis, China
Xifeng ZHANG1, Xin JIN2, Xiao BAI2, Yanbin JIANG1, Chansheng HE2,3,*()
1 College of Resource and Environment, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, China
2 Key Laboratory of West China's Environmental System (Ministry of Education), College of Environment and Earth Science, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China
3 Department of Geography, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo MI 49008-5200, USA
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Water resources are critical for the existence and development of oases in endorheic basins. Thus, to enable sustainable development, it is fundamentally important to understand how to allocate and use these resources in a reasonable way. We therefore simulated and analyzed changes in water consumption pattern within the Dunhuang Oasis of China under three scenarios using a system dynamic model that corresponds to different water consumption pattern. This was done to assess the impacts of regional water resource planning (comprehensive planning of the rational use of water resource and protection of ecosystem services in the Dunhuang Basin) on water consumption pattern within the Dunhuang Oasis. The first of these, Scenario 1, is a baseline in which the status quo is maintained, while Scenario 2 incorporates the comprehensive effects of agricultural water-saving irrigation measures with an inter-basin water diversion project, and Scenario 3 focuses on ecological rehabilitation. In the baseline Scenario 1, the total water consumption within the Dunhuang Oasis increased progressively while agricultural water consumption remained extremely high and threatened overall ecological security. In contrast, Scenario 2 would decrease agricultural water consumption by almost 5.30×107 m3 following the implementation of water-saving practices. The additional water allocated from an inter-basin water diversion project would play an important role in alleviating ecological strain on the oasis. Finally, in Scenario 3, the total irrigated land must be decreased to 20.6×103 hm2 by 2025 assuming that water supply for ecosystem restoration would be at least 50% of the total consumption. Although water resource planning plays a very important role in alleviating the ecological water crisis within the oasis, it is necessary to consider the suitable scale of oasis with regard to current water consumption pattern.

Key wordswater resources planning      water consumption pattern      system dynamics model      ecological rehabilitation      Dunhuang Oasis     
Received: 11 June 2018      Published: 10 October 2019
Corresponding Authors: Chansheng HE     E-mail:
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The first and second authors contributed equally to this work.

Cite this article:

Xifeng ZHANG, Xin JIN, Xiao BAI, Yanbin JIANG, Chansheng HE. Impacts of water resource planning on regional water consumption pattern: A case study in Dunhuang Oasis, China. Journal of Arid Land, 2019, 11(5): 713-728.

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