Water environment protection and sustainable development in townlet of China: A case study in Taicang

Min Yang , Wenli Zhou , Mengmeng Liu , Xu Shang , Meixue Chen , Guorong Wang , Hui Zhong , Junya Zhang , Yuansong Wei , Yan Yan


Received October 16, 2020,Revised , Accepted December 05, 2020, Available online March 04, 2021

Volume 33,2021,Pages 129-139

The Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) model was applied to investigate the relationship between economic growth and water environment quality based on panel data of Taicang during 2010–2017. The typical inversed-U shaped relationship has been obtained between GDP (gross domestic product) and indicators of ammonia, total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP), respectively. The EKC turning point appeared when the GDP per capita was around US$2270, which was much lower than those in some developed countries (US$11,200). However, the decoupling between chemical oxygen demand (COD) and GDP per capita occurred even before this period, which should be attributed to the strict COD emission regulation being implemented since 2010. Further, analysis based on the Tapio decoupling coefficient elasticity model analyzed the ammonia nitrogen and economic development of each industry. We found that the agriculture no-point was strong decoupling in 2011–2014, then came to Recessive decoupling. The domestic wastewater had been in a strong decoupling state; Both urban non-point and industry experienced expansive negative decoupling, due to strict policy that prioritizes the environment over development and the investment in improvement of environment and techniques, both of them gradually came to strong decoupling. The result demonstrated that the EKC turning point could be appear in earlier economic stage and the decoupling coefficient elasticity could be improved through taking strong regulation measures.

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