Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2003, Vol. 58 ›› Issue (2): 255-262.doi: 10.11821/xb200302013

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Research Progress in Socio-economic Water Cycle

JIA Shaofeng, WANG Guo, XIA Jun, YU Guirui, ZHANG Shifeng, WANG Jinxia   

  1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2002-10-04 Revised:2003-01-22 Online:2003-03-25 Published:2003-03-25
  • Supported by:

    Projects of CAS, No.KZCX1-10-03, No.KZCX2-317; Knowledge Innovation Projects of IGSNRR, CAS, No.CXIOG-B00-04, No.CXIOG-E01-08-01; National Basic Research Development Programme, No.1999043601, No.1999043602


Socio-economic water cycle means water cycle driven by human activity and contrast with natural water cycle driven by natural factors. The backgrounds of putting forward the research of socio-economic water cycle are becoming more and more serious because of water scarcity and human impact on water cycle. The main domains of research of socio-economic water cycle include water security appraisement, sustainable and integrated management of water resource, socio-economic studies of water resources, human impact on water cycle, water environment and water-ecology interaction etc. This paper reviewed international research progress of socio-economic water cycle which had a focus on China. China has completed national water resources and medium to long term water supply planning. She has been engaging in study on water-deficient regions in North China and Northwest China for about half a century. For solving water shortage problem in northern China, she has put forward the famous South-to-North Water Transferring Project, which has been set as one of the four key national projects in the Tenth Five-Year Plan period although there are still debates. For promoting water use efficiency, China has been reforming her water management system, including water right system and water price system. There has already been a case of water right purchase. China has also conducted a lot of research on the interaction between human activity, water and ecosystem. For meeting the need of sustainability and coordinating water resources development and environmental protection, the study of ecological water requirement became very hot in recent years. There are three focuses of socio-economic water cycle study now in China: water transfer project from the south to the north, water resources management and ecological water requirement.

Key words: water cycle, socio-economic system, water resources