Sciences in Cold and Arid Regions ›› 2020, Vol. 12 ›› Issue (4): 217-233.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2020.00217

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Assessing spatial and temporal variability in water consumption and the maintainability oasis maximum area in an oasis region of Northwestern China

XueXiang Chang1(),WenZhi Zhao1(),XueLi Chang2,Bing Liu1,Jun Du1   

  1. 1.Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Linze Inland River Basin Research Station, Key Laboratory of Ecohydrology of Inland River Basin, CAS, Lanzhou, Gansu 730000, China
    2.School of Natural Resources and Environmental Engineering, Ludong University, Yantai, Shandong 264025, China
  • Received:2020-02-15 Accepted:2020-05-09 Online:2020-08-31 Published:2020-09-04
  • Contact: XueXiang Chang,WenZhi Zhao;


Water consumption is a key role in improving the efficiency and sustainability of water management in arid environments. In this study, we explored an approach based on meta-analysis, MODIS NDVI products, land-use spatial distribution, and soil water physical parameters to gain insight into long-term and large scale distribution of land use and water consumption, maintain maximum Zhangye Oasis area according to Heihe River runoff, and suitable water resource management in Zhangye Oasis. This approach was initiated in order to improve the efficiency of irrigation and water resource management in arid regions Results showed that Heihe River runoff can maintain a maximum Zhangye Oasis area of 22.49×104 hm2. During the 2000-2016 growing seasons, actual oasis water consumption ranged from 11.35×108 m3 to 13.73×108 m3, with a mean of (12.89 ± 0.60)×108 m3; if maintaining agricultural production and oasis stability was chosen, oasis water consumption ranged from 10.24×108 m3 to 12.37×108 m3, with a mean of (11.62 ± 0.53)×108 m3. From the perspective of water resources management and ecosystem stability, it is necessary to reduce the area of Zhangye Oasis or choose the minimum water consumption method to manage the oasis, to ease the pressure of water shortage and maintain stable and sustainable development of the Zhangye Oasis. These results can provide future practical guidance for water resource management of coordinated development of the economy and the environment in an arid area.

Key words: meta-analysis, water consumption, land-use, spatial and temporal distribution, runoff, Northwestern China

Figure 1

Map of Zhangye Oasis and its location in the arid and semi-arid region of Northwest China"

Figure 2

Spatial distribution of soil parameters in Zhangye Oasis. (a) Saturation moisture capacity, (b) Field capacity, and (c) Soil bulk density"

Figure 3

Land-use in Zhangye Oasis in Northwestern China from 2000 to 2016. (a) Trends in oasis area, (b) Planting structure"

Figure 4

Spatial and temporal distribution of land-use in Zhangye Oasis from 2000 to 2016"

Table 1

Land use statistics from 2000 to 2016 for Zhangye Oasis"

TypeMaximum (×104 hm2)Minimum (×104 hm2)Mean (×104 hm2)SD (×104 hm2)Variable coefficient
Vegetables + fruit5.091.272.551.1846.14
Shrub land0.

Figure 5

Spatial distribution and variability in actual water consumption during the 2000-2016 growing seasons in Zhangye Oasis. Spatial distribution in (a) 2000, (b) 2001, (c) 2002, (d) 2003, (e) 2004, (f) 2005, (g) 2006, (h) 2007, (i) 2008, (j) 2009, (k) 2010, (l) 2011, (m) 2012, (n) 2013, (o) 2014, (p) 2015, (q) 2016, (r) the mean maximum water consumption per year from 2000 to 2016 (bold line with filled circles, bars represent standard deviation of the mean) and oasis maximum water consumption (dash line with filled squares)"

Table 2

Proportion of areas in optimum water consumption level to total oasis from 2000 to 2016"



Level (mm)

Minimum water consumption< 2185.477.844.724.734.746.665.995.525.375.305.415.084.143.745.813.614.05
> 8213.130.901.211.571.371.380.922.511.741.080.680.920.870.490.730.720.54
Optimum water consumption< 2184.787.
> 8218.372.783.394.023.253.962.275.013.392.
Maximum water consumption< 2184.326.293.803.813.825.584.954.504.394.354.454.003.403.134.833.013.37
> 82116.727.038.158.937.409.596.2110.

Table 3

Water consumption statistics during the growing season from 2000 to 2016 in Zhangye Oasis"

TypeMean (×108 m3)SD (×108 m3)Maximum (×108 m3)Minimum (×108 m3)
Minimum water consumption11.620.5312.3710.24
Optimum water consumption12.270.5713.0710.81
Maximum water consumption12.890.6013.7311.35

Figure 6

Spatial distribution and variability in optimum water consumption during the 2000-2016 growing season in Zhangye Oasis. Spatial distribution in (a) 2000, (b) 2001, (c) 2002, (d) 2003, (e) 2004, (f) 2005, (g) 2006, (h) 2007, (i) 2008, (j) 2009, (k) 2010, (l) 2011, (m) 2012, (n) 2013, (o) 2014, (p) 2015, (q) 2016, (r) the mean optimum water consumption per year from 2000 to 2016 (bold line with filled circles, bars represent standard deviation of the mean) and oasis optimum water consumption (dash line with filled squares)"

Figure 7

Spatial distribution and variation of minimum water consumption during the 2000-2016 growing season in Zhangye Oasis. Spatial distribution in (a) 2000, (b) 2001, (c) 2002, (d) 2003, (e) 2004, (f) 2005, (g) 2006, (h) 2007, (i) 2008, (j) 2009, (k) 2010, (l) 2011, (m) 2012, (n) 2013, (o) 2014, (p) 2015, (q) 2016, (r) mean minimum water consumption per year from 2000 to 2016 (bold line with filled circles, bars represent standard deviation of the mean) and oasis minimum water consumption (dash line with filled squares)"

Figure 8

The variation trend of Heihe River runoff and the relationship between runoff of growing season and oasis area and water consumption from 2000 to 2016. (a) Average monthly of Heihe River runoff, (b) The variation trend of runoff and runoff allowed to be consumed (RAC) in Heihe River from 2000 to 2016, (c) the relationship between runoff of growing season and oasis area, (d) the relationship between runoff of growing season and actual water consumption(WA), (e) the relationship between runoff of growing season and optimum water consumption (WOpt), (f) the relationship between runoff of growing season and minimum water consumption (WWin), (g) Difference between WA and RAC, (h) Difference between WOpt and RAC, (i) Difference between WWin and RAC"

Figure 9

The growing season, ≥8 mm and annual precipitation change in of Linze County, Zhangye Oasis from 1990 to 2017"

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