In this paper, a novel adaptive color image watermarking scheme based on the just noticeable distortion (JND) model in balanced multiwavelet domain is proposed. The balanced multiwavelet transform can achieve orthogonality, symmetry, and high order of approximation simultaneously without requiring any input prefiltering, which makes it a good choice for image processing. According to the properties of the human visual system, a novel multiresolution JND model is proposed in balanced multiwavelet domain. This model incorporates the spatial contrast sensitivity function, the luminance adaptation effect, and the contrast masking effect via separating the sharp edge and the texture. Then, based on this model, the watermark is adaptively inserted into the most distortion tolerable locations of the luminance and chrominance components without introducing the perceivable distortions. Experimental results show that the proposed watermarking scheme is transparent and has a high robustness to various attacks such as low-pass filtering, noise attacking, JPEG and JPEG2000 compression.