Journal of Resources and Ecology ›› 2018, Vol. 9 ›› Issue (5): 455-460.DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.05.001

• Review •     Next Articles

Research Methods of Water Resources Carrying Capacity: Progress and Prospects

LI Yi1,2, YANG Yanzhao1,2,3,*, YAN Huimin1,2,3, YOU Zhen1   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;
    3. Key Laboratory of Carrying Capacity Assessment for Resource and Environment, Ministry of Land and Resources, Beijing 101149, China
  • Received:2017-12-20 Revised:2018-04-06 Online:2018-09-30 Published:2018-09-30
  • Contact: * YANG Yanzhao, E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    National Key Research and Development Program of China (2016YFC0503500); Tibet key Science & Technology Specific Projects (Z2016C01G01); National Nature Science Foundation of China (41471453, 41430861).

Abstract: The study of water resources carrying capacity (WRCC), a major component of resources and environment carrying capacity (RECC), began relatively recently. However, WRCC has witnessed a rapid development in terms of concept, calculation methods, and empirical research in recent years. WRCC has become an important criterion for rational development and utilization of regional water resources. This paper first briefly reviews the development process of WRCC. It then evaluates and contrasts the representative research methods of conventional trend (CT), system dynamics (SD), multi-objective model analysis (MOMA), comprehensive evaluation (CE), and dynamic simulation recursive (DSR). The results show that although there are various methods of WRCC, the major methods used have become out-of-date and stagnant, and new more sophisticated methods and technologies are lacking. Specifically, our analysis found that the index system, scientific robustness and comprehensiveness of evaluation criteria of current research methods are insufficient and need to be improved. In addition, the dynamic research of WRCC should receive more attention, and it requires further study to make it more applicable to real-world uses. Finally, a set of monitoring and early warning systems should be established and applied in demonstration areas to meet the urgent needs of water resource management in the new era.

Key words: carrying capacity, prospects, research method, water resources