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The main problem in Heihe River Basin is water shortage caused by the drastic population growth and the development of the irrigation area in the middle basin over the past decades. In order to ensure the water utilization for the ecologic sector in the downstream of Heihe River, Zhanghye city which is located in the middle reach of Heihe River Basin was selected as water-saving city to implement a new water right system with tradable water quotas. The objective of this study is to investigate the water use right (WUR) system and WUR trading in Zhangye city and to make recommendations for other water shortage areas to learn experience as well as to improve the water utilization pattern in Zhangye city. It was found out that how the water right system with tradable water quotas is carrying on in Zhangye city and experience and deficiencies are summarized for other water shortage areas in China. These results may provide a scientific basis for the decision makers and policy makers on the rational and efficient water recourse allocation.