Integrated modeling of water supply and demand under management options and climate change scenarios in Chifeng City, China
Water resource management is becoming increasingly challenging in northern China because of the rapid increase in water demand and decline in water supply due to climate change. We provide a case study demonstrating the importance of integrated watershed management in sustaining water resources in Chifeng City, northern China. We examine the consequences of various climate change scenarios and adaptive management options on water supply by integrating the Soil and Water Assessment Tool and Water Evaluation and Planning models. We show how integrated modeling is useful in projecting the likely effects of management options using limited information. Our study indicates that constructing more reservoirs can alleviate the current water shortage and groundwater depletion problems. However, this option is not necessarily the most effective measure to solve water supply problems; instead, improving irrigation efficiency and changing cropping structure may be more effective. Furthermore, measures to increase water supply have limited effects on water availability under a continuous drought and a dry-and-warm climate scenario. We conclude that the combined measure of reducing water demand and increasing supply is the most effective and practical solution for the water shortage problems in the study area.