Policy evaluation of economic – environmental tradeoffs in regulating industrial water use: An agent-based model

Dongying Sun, Miao Zhang, Donghwi Jung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Water resource shortage and water pollution are prominent and urgent resource and environment problems. Industrial water consumption and sewage discharges account for a large proportion of the total sewage discharge of China. Therefore, scientifically regulating the water consumption and sewage discharge of industrial enterprises can effectively alleviate water scarcity and pollution problems. By establishing a multi-agent model, this study simulates the water use behavior of industrial enterprises, exploring the responses of industrial enterprises to a different type of scenarios for water management that can coordinate economic and environmental benefits. The purpose is to reduce the water consumption and pollutant emissions of industrial enterprises while achieving economic benefits, so as to provide policy references for water authorities. The results show that: 1) The three policies of water price, water resource tax and emission reduction subsidy can effectively regulate the water consumption and sewage discharge of enterprises. 2) Water price and water resource tax rate need to be controlled within a reasonable range. Appropriate water price and water resource tax rate can encourage enterprises to increase R&D investment. On this basis, it is suggested to emphasize the two-way influence of the government and enterprises, continue to implement water resources management policies such as water resources tax, so as to promote the balance between ecology and economy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number118988
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Nov 15

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The financial assistance provided by MOE (Ministry of Education in China) Project of Humanities and Social Sciences ( 21YJCZH139 ; 21YJC790021 ), the Social Science fund of Jiangsu Province ( 21GLB007 ), the National Natural Science Foundation of China ( 71704068 ), National Social Science Fund of China ( 20BGL113 ), and Key Research Base of Universities in Jiangsu Province for Philosophy and Social Science “Research Center for Green Development and Environmental Governance” is highly appreciated by researchers of this study. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the funding agencies.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Ltd


  • Agent-based model
  • Economic-environmental tradeoffs
  • Industrial water use
  • Policy simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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