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Drivers of industrial water use during 2003–2012 in Tianjin, China: A structural decomposition analysis

Shang, Yizi, Lu, Shibao, Li, Xiaofei, Sun, Gaohu, Shang, Ling, Shi, Hongwang, Lei, Xiaohui, Ye, Yuntao, Sang, Xuefeng, Wang, Hao
Journal of cleaner production 2017 v.140 pp. 1136-1147
cities, industrialization, models, water conservation, China
To ease the growing water crisis, Tianjin has pioneered the implementation of the most stringent water management system in China. Presently, Tianjin achieves the highest industrial water efficiency in China. In 2010, Tianjin was named the first “Water-Saving Society Construction Demonstration City” by the Chinese central government. To provide a theoretical basis and supporting data for the construction of “national water-saving cities”, a decomposition method is adopted to quantitatively analyze changing industrial water use in Tianjin. Data are decomposed using a refined Laspeyres model, highlighting changes associated with industrial restructuring, followed by detailed sectoral analysis. There are two distinct stages of industrial water use: before 2008, industrial water use decreased, driven predominantly by technological advances; after 2008, higher industrial output led to greater industrial water use that overshadowed the water savings achieved by technological development. Nevertheless, water efficiency showed limited improvement, despite the increasing industrial scale and output of certain industrial sectors. The findings show that in Tianjin, reduced industrial water use is not the primary objective, but an associated combination of industrial development and structural adjustment.