JOURNAL OF NATURAL RESOURCES ›› 2019, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (6): 1232-1244.doi: 10.31497/zrzyxb.20190609

• Resource Ecology • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The cooperation mechanism of water resources protection in trans-boundary river based on game theory: A case study of the Taipu River in the Taihu Lake Basin

Meng-jie YANG1,2(), Kai YANG1,2, Gen LI1,2, Xiao-dan NIU1,2   

  1. 1. School of Ecological and Environmental Sciences, Shanghai Key Lab for Urban Ecological Processes and Eco-Restoration, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241, China
    2. Shanghai Institute of Pollution Control and Ecological Security, Shanghai 200092, China
  • Received:2018-09-01 Revised:2019-03-01 Online:2019-06-20 Published:2019-06-20


The coordination of interests among stakeholders in water resources management for trans-boundary rivers remains to be a challenge. Taking the Taipu River, a typical trans-boundary river in the Taihu Lake Basin, as an example, this paper analyzed the interest demands of stakeholders for water resources protection in the upstream and downstream regions of the Taipu River. Based on the game theory, this paper introduced both external driving forces (Watershed Agency Intervention and Incentive and Restraint Policies) and internal equilibrium measures (Ecological Compensation and Sectional Water Quality Assessment) to explore a cooperation mechanism that can mitigate the conflicts and encourage cooperation between the upstream and downstream regions. The results show that: (1) The game cooperative strategy (Reaching Standard, Compensation) is realized in the game model with the coordination methods. (2) Based on the results of game analysis, the realization of the game strategy (Reaching Standard, Compensation) is closely related to the strength of incentives and constraints, the amount of compensation, water rights, upstream protection costs and benefits. (3) The external driving forces can help to coordinate the function orientation difference of upstream and downstream demands of the Taipu River, and to create the enthusiasm and initiative of protection cooperation of the upstream and downstream regions. The internal equilibrium measures can compensate for the loss of upstream water rights and industrial development interests, making the water quality of the Taipu River to meet the safety standard of the downstream water intake. (4) The coordination mechanism of the water resources protection for the Taipu River was constructed, which provides theoretical and decision-making support to accelerate the coordinated development of the Yangtze River Delta and establish a Clean Water Corridor in the Taihu Lake Basin.

Key words: water resources protection, cooperation mechanism, game analysis, trans-boundary river, Taipu River