Gang Lin · Dong Jiang · Rui Duan · Jingying Fu · Mengmeng Hao
Water 2017;9:513

Hydraulic engineering | Water supply for domestic and industrial purposes

Fossil energy and water resources are both important for economic and social development in China, and they are tightly interlinked. Fossil energy production consumes large amounts of water, and it is essential to investigate the water footprint of fossil energy production (WFEP) in China. In addition, fossil energy is supplied to consumers in China by both domestic and foreign producers, and understanding the water footprint of fossil energy supply (WFES) is also highly significant for water and energy development programs in the long-term. The objectives of this paper were to provide an estimation of the blue component of WFEP and WFES in China for the period from 2001 to 2014, and to evaluate the impact on water resources from energy production, the contribution of internal and external WFES, and water-energy related issues of the international energy trade by applying water footprint analysis based on the bottom-up approach. The results indicate that generally, the WFEP and WFES in China both maintained steady growth before 2013, with the WFEP increasing from approximately 3900 million m3/year to 10,400 million m3/year, while the WFES grew from 3900 million m3/year to 11,600 million m3/year. The fossil energy production caps of the 13th Five Year Plan can bring the water consumed for fossil energy production back to a sustainable level. Over the long-term, China’s energy trade plan should also consider the water and energy resources of the countries from which fossil energy is imported.

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