Author(s): Chunfeng Hao; Yaqin Qiu; Cunwen Niu; Yangwen Jia
Keywords: Coal consumption control; Co-benefits; Water resources
Abstract: With the energy structure transformation in China, coal consumption control, considered to be of great importance for efficient utilization of limited resources and mitigation of environmental disruption, attracts more and more attention. The whole processes of coal consumption, not only coal production, but also its conversion and utilization, relate closely to regional water resources by disturbance of local hydrogeological structure in coal mining areas, as well as water use and drainage pollution throughout the full life cycle of coal. The paper focuses on the co-benefits of coal consumption control on water resources, including the mechanism of effects of coal consumption on water resources system and the variation of water use under different schemes, to provide a scientific basis and technological support for national coal cap policy-making and its costs and benefits assessment, by qualitative and quantitative analysis on the overall processes of coal consumption including coal production, conversion and utilization. Firstly, impacts of coal exploitation and utilization on water resources is studied which takes into account regional surface runoff, groundwater storage and aquifer structure, and water quality. Then, national redlines of water use for coal consumption are calculated according to restrictive indicators of national water use quantity and efficiency, as well as future development demand and corresponding water-saving potential. Finally, the co-benefits of coal consumption control on water use control under different coal consumption control scenes and water use modes are evaluated considering socio-economic development and resources and environment carrying capacity. The policy of the strictest water resources management, the latest water resources policy in China, is regarded as significant circumstance in the research to make the results more scientific and practical. The results show that coal consumption control and water saving measures are essential for sustainable and harmonious development of coal consumption and water resources utilization under the constraints of water use control.