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Physical and Virtual Water Transfers and the Impacts on Regional Ecosystem Quality and Resources

Author(s): Jing Liu; Yubao Wang; Xiaobo Luan; Zhongbo Yu

Linked Author(s): Zhongbo Yu

Keywords: No keywords

Abstract: The environmental impacts analysis for water transfers are lacking. In this study, the impacts on ecosystem equality and resources due to physical and virtual water transfers were evaluated for the Hetao irrigation district, China. Results indicate: about 4.50×10 9 m 3 of water transferred from the Yellow River to the Hetao irrigation district during 2001-2010 and 2.92×10 9 m 3 water was flowed out from this district virtually simultaneously. The impacts of physical, virtual and net water inflow on ecosystem quality were 1.33×10 9 m 2 ·yr (positive), 867.60×10 6 m 2 ·yr (negative) and 465.70×10 6 m 2 ·yr (positive). The impacts on resources were 28.16×10 9 MJ (positive) for physical water, 18.26×10 9 MJ (negative) for virtual water and 9.89×10 9 MJ (positive) for net water transfer. The environmental influences were more significant for middle areas. The flows of physical and virtual water have increased water stress in some already water scare regions. The increase of physical water flow-in in this district would be difficult due to high financial cost, while the increase of virtual water flow-in could be possible measures to relieve environmental influences. However, others factors such as the social or economic factors should also be considered

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1051/matecconf/201824601070

Year: 2018

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