Water Resources Management

, Volume 33, Issue 12, pp 4105–4121 | Cite as

Quantification of the Driving Factors of Water Use in the Productive Sector Change Using Various Decomposition Methods

  • Jie Yang
  • Xiaohong ChenEmail author


The water use in the productive sector in developing regions increases with quick socioeconomic development. This study is a quantitative analysis of the factors affecting changes in water use of the productive sector. Using Guangdong province as a case study, the driving factors of changes in water use in the productive sector are summarized as population, affluence, structure and technology factors on the basis of the impact = population × affluence × technology (IPAT) model (GDP is expressed at constant prices). Then the Laspeyres, the logarithmic mean Divisia index (LMDI), and the Shapley value decomposition model were adopted to determine the appropriate method and quantify the relative contribution of the driving factors. The results showed that the LMDI decomposition model was preferable for this case due to its accuracy, easy to use and expression. Affluence factor and population factor induce positive variation of water use of the productive sector, while structure factor and technology factor induce negative variation of water use of the productive sector. We also determined that water restriction policies helped to curb the increasing trend in water use of the productive sector, but also hinder economic growth to a certain extent. And we suggest that the future direction of water saving in the study area should focus on industrial restructuring. These findings have significant policy implications for water use in developing countries.


Decomposition analysis Water use Driving factors Water restriction policies Three Red Lines 



The authors would like to express their gratitude to all reviewers for their valuable comments. This study was financially supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (2017YFC0405900) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grants 51861125203, 91547202 and 51479216).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declared that they have no conflicts of interest to this work.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Water Resources and EnvironmentSun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Guangdong Engineering Technology Research Center of Water Security Regulation and Control for Southern ChinaSun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouChina
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Water Cycle and Water Security in Southern China of Guangdong High Education InstituteSun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouChina

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