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Evaluating the Impacts of Climate Change on Industrial Water Demand by Sector

X. Zhang, J. -Y. Zhang, T. -Q. Ao, X. -J. Wang*, T. Chen, B. -X. Wang

*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The impacts of climate change on industrial water demand (IWD) directly affect IWD management. In this study, a framework for evaluating the impacts of climate change on IWD was proposed in consideration of direct and indirect effects. The framework can be used to analyze the different impacts of climate change by sector. The applied results in 34 industrial sectors in Hebei Province showed that the impacts of climate change on IWD varied in different industrial sectors, and 22 of the 34 industrial sectors were affected by climate change from −15.11% to 37.36% under the average precipitation–temperature change rate. Meanwhile, the actual change of IWD was between −31.148 and 141.890 million m3, considering the difference of the water demand scale between sectors. The overall impact of climate change on IWD had gradually decreased from more than 12.8% to approximately 4.1% from 2007 to 2016 due to the substantial improvement of water use efficiency. The indirect effect caused by the total industrial output value offset about 60%–50% of the direct growth impact. By contrast, the increase in IWD caused by the rise in temperature accounted for nearly 90%. And, only approximately 10% was caused by the decrease in precipitation. In general, an industrial sector may be directly and indirectly affected by temperature and precipitation, and the different impacts may offset each other. This provides evidence and explanation for the heterogeneity of climate change impacts, and the research results can provide information for regional industrial water resource managers to adapt to climate change.