Volume 37: New Energy, New Ecology and New Environment

System dynamics-based ecological network analysis of Beijing’s reclaimed water system Yinhua Chen, Saige Wang, Feng Jiang, Bin Chen



Considering the potential risks of using reclaimed water, the uncertain relationship between the use of reclaimed water and the stability of the network of reclaimed water systems needs to be investigated. This study takes Beijing as the study area and uses relevant data affecting the demand, supply and use of reclaimed water from 2012 to 2020. A model of reclaimed water supply and demand was constructed using a system dynamics approach to characterize the changes in reclaimed water supply and demand from 2021 to 2050, and to identify changes in water use between the domestic, industrial and environmental sectors in economic, social and environmental scenarios. Based on the ecological network analysis method, the system metabolic efficiency, redundancy and sectoral relationship characteristics of the reclaimed water network were analyzed. This reveals the robustness of the reclaimed water system and the metabolic relationships between the sectors of the system, and assesses the role of different policy scenarios on the stability of the reclaimed water system. The results show that the error between the simulated and realistic values of the reclaimed water system is less than 10%. The established reclaimed water system dynamics model can provide accurate feedback on the causal relationship between reclaimed water variables and clarify the characteristics of the changes in reclaimed water supply and demand. The simulation showed that Beijing’s reclaimed water supply will increase slightly from 2013 to 2050 at a rate of 2.65%, which is much lower than the multi-year average growth rate of reclaimed water demand of 3.96%. The future increase in reclaimed water use will need to be achieved by upgrading the reclaimed water supply. This study analyses the reclaimed water consumption capacity under different policy contexts and provides a reference for water conservation in the industrial sector in Beijing.

Keywords reclaimed water use, reclaimed water use potential, reclaimed water network

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