Preliminary research on quantitative methods of water resources carrying capacity based on water resources balance sheet
Water resources are not only basic natural resources, but also strategic economic resources and ecological control factors. Water resources carrying capacity constrains the sustainable development of regional economy and society. Studies of water resources carrying capacity can provide helpful information about how the socioeconomic system is both supported and restrained by the water resources system. Based on the research of different scholars, major problems in the study of water resources carrying capacity were summarized as follows: the definition of water resources carrying capacity is not yet unified; the methods of carrying capacity quantification based on the definition of inconsistency are poor in operability; the current quantitative research methods of water resources carrying capacity did not fully reflect the principles of sustainable development; it is difficult to quantify the relationship among the
water resources, economic society and ecological environment. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a better quantitative evaluation method to determine the regional water resources carrying capacity. This paper proposes a new approach to quantifying water resources carrying capacity (that is, through the compilation of the water resources balance sheet) to get a grasp of the regional water resources depletion and water environmental degradation (as well as regional water resources stock assets and liabilities), figure out the squeeze of socioeconomic activities on the environment, and discuss the quantitative calculation methods and technical route of water resources carrying capacity which are able to embody the substance of sustainable development.