General Introduction
Presidents and Academicians
Dam Safety Management Center of MWR
Waterlocks Safety Management Center of MWR
Research Center for Climate Change of MWR
Engineering Quality Inspection Center of MWR
Hydrology and Water Resources Department
Hydraulic Engineering Department
River and Harbor Engineering Department
Geotechnical Engineering Department
Materials and Structural Engineering Department
Dam Safety Management Department
Center of Eco-Environmental Research
Research Center for Rural Water Management
State Key Laboratory of Hydrology-Water Resources and Hydraulic Engineering
Key Laboratory of Port, Waterway and Sedimentation Engineering of Ministry of Transport
Key Laboratory of Water Science and Hydraulic Engineering of MWR
Key Laboratory of Failure Mechanism and Safety Control Techniques of Earth-rock Dam of MWR
R&D Center of Hydro-Power Engineering Safety and Environmental Technology of NEA
International Joint Research Center of Water Science & Engineering
Research Center on Hydrology and Water Resources Engineering of MWR
Tiexinqiao Water Experiment Center
Chuzhou Water Experiment Center
Dangtu Water Experiment Center
River and Lake Research Center at Wuxi
Impacts of Climate Change on Water Security in China and Countermeasures
Post Time:2017-08-31Front:[ Large Medium Small ]

Climate change, mainly characterized by global warming, is an indisputable fact, but it contains many uncertainties and unknown factors. Due to the special geographic location, weather conditions and stage characteristics of rapid economic and social development, China is facing very complex and severe water security problems. Frequent floods and droughts are still the dilemma of the Chinese nation, while the contradiction between water resources supply and demand is an important factor restricting the economic and social development, and serious water environment pollution and hydro-ecosystem deterioration become the main bottleneck of the national sustainable development. Temperature rise, sea level rise and increment of extreme climate events, resulting from global climate change, will further threaten the water security of the nation.

Since 1990s, a series of studies on climate change and its impacts on water resources have been conducted, mainly using the hypothetical climate scenarios to study the sensitivity of water resources to climate change, while the assessment of climate change impacts on water resources security is still at an initial stage, and few reports on systematic research of climate change impacts on floods, droughts, sea level, storm surges by typhoons, hydro-ecology and hydraulic materials at national scale have been found. In view of above mentioned issues, the Ministry of Water Resources, China initiated so far the largest public-good major research program in 2008, assessing the impacts of future climate change on flood control security, water resources security, hydro-ecology security and hydraulic engineering security by using the global climate change scenarios and proposing the countermeasures of water resources adaptation to climate change in China. The research findings have provided important support for water sector to address climate change.

1. Major Innovative Achievements

Focusing on the impacts of climate change on Chinese water security and countermeasures, studies have been conducted on climate change scenarios, evolution rules of water security elements, assessment models of climate change impacts and countermeasures of water resources adaptation to climate change. And a series of major innovative findings have been achieved mainly as follows.

1.1 A database group of the national hydrology, meteorology, geographic information (such as digital elevation, soil vegetation, remote sensing images of high resolution, etc.), floods and droughts has been established, which is the most comprehensive one so far with the longest data series in the research field of climate change impacts and water security issues, laying a solid foundation for the study of climate change impacts.

1.2 The historical evolution regularity of all elements of the national hydrometeorology involved with water security, such as temperature, precipitation, droughts, floods, water resources, sea level, typhoons, etc., in recent 60 years has been systematically analyzed. The attribution of river runoff variation has been quantitatively identified, suggesting the general reduction tendency of river runoff in Northern China, which is mainly resulted from human activities, while the increase tendency of climate change impacts.

1.3 A climate change impacts simulation assessment platform has been developed with features of wide coverage of business, large spatial scale, and high resolution, integrating many models and methods, such as the simulation model of catchment water resources based on grids, regional water demand prediction model taking climate change, social and economic development and population growth into account, distributed water quality-water quantity coupling model of a catchment, numerical simulation model of offshore storm surges coupling sea level rise and sea-land interaction, etc., which has provided a sound technical platform for the study of climate change impacts.

1.4 A large hydraulic extreme weather simulator has been invented, and a hydro-ecological climate response test chamber constructed, by which the impacts of extreme temperatures like extreme low temperature and high temperature of long duration on hydraulic materials performance and its changes have been tested. The variation nomogram of temperature-material frangibility and quality has been studied and formulated for the first time, and the response mechanism of lake ecological process to climate change systematically analyzed.

1.5 The impacts of climate change on flood control, water resources, hydro-ecological environment and hydraulic materials have been scientifically assessed, the uncertainties of different climate change scenarios systematically analyzed, the revision method of climate change scenarios proposed, the water security problems possibly faced by Chinese 10 water resources zones in future scientifically analyzed, and the national strategy of water adaptation to climate change and concrete countermeasures to safeguard the national water security systematically raised based on the principles of mitigation and adaptation combination.

2. Academic Outputs and Third Party Evaluation

The research team of climate change and water security has improved its research level via 5-year research of this project, not only achieving a series of innovative findings, but also making these findings widely applied. Detailed findings include the following.

2.1 A technical report, titled Impacts of Climate Change on China Water Security and Adaptation Countermeasures, and 9 subject reports were drafted. 129 papers were published in domestic or foreign kernel journals or exchanged at large seminars with 25 SCI source papers and 24 included by EI. In addition, 5 books were published, and 2 national invention patents authorized. During the research period, one of the team members was elected as the member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, and 7 team members granted with individual awards of the national or industrial departments. The research team has gradually expanded its influence at home and abroad.

2.2 The then-Vice Minister of Water Resources HU Siyi made important instructions on the project that being systematic findings of climate change impacts on water security, relevant findings had played an important role of references to formulate and implement the Chinese water security strategy in the context of climate change and to realize the sustainable utilization of water resources with obvious potential application value. Anonymous reviewers of the relevant papers of the project findings regarded that an important issue involving hydrological model parameters regionalization would possibly have an important impact on the research of the forecasting method of ungauged regions initiated by IAHS, and the major contribution of the project was to make the Chinese government and hydrologists correctly understand how much water could be utilized in future and what would be the water problems faced in future.

3. Application Promotion and Comprehensive Benefits

3.1 The overall thinking and adaptation principles of climate change at water sector level have provided scientific basis for formulating the national general strategy of climate change adaptation. The project have proposed the concrete measures to safeguard the flood control security, water resources security, hydro-environment and ecology security and hydraulic engineering security, providing scientific basis for the implementation of the national climate change adaptation planning and provincial climate change adaptation measures. The guiding concept, fundamental principles, strategic targets, countermeasures of water sector to mitigate climate change, and countermeasures of key fields and regions to adapt climate change have provided scientific basis for water sector to implement climate change adaptation planning and measures.

3.2 The project findings have been applied in the compilation of State Strategy to Cope with Climate Change, National Water Development Planning for the 12th Five-Year Period, State Drought Relief Planning, and National Mid- and Long-Term Water Supply and Demand Planning, the formulation of water environment protection and flood control security strategy for the Taihu Lake Basin, the engineering demonstration of the national river harnessing and mountain torrent disaster control, and the construction and maintenance of water and hydropower projects, effectively mitigating disaster losses and providing major support for the national and basin water resources planning and scientific management in future with remarkable social, economic, ecologic and environmental benefits. Part of the project conclusions have been adopted in IPCC-AR5, The Second State Assessment Report of Climate Change, and the national report of China Climate and Environment Evolution: 2012, providing powerful technical support for China’s participation of intergovernmental climate change conventions and environmental diplomatic activities.

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