It is not easy to determine whether water is really scarce in the physical sense or whether it is available, but people cannot get access to it, or use it better. This paper reviews selected physical water scarcity indicators, and criticisms made against them on several grounds. Under the premise that the water scarcity issue is inherently multidimensional, a composite Water Poverty Index has been developed, to complement the traditional physical water indicators. In this paper we propose some technical refinements based on principal component analysis, in order to improve the method of calculation of the index. Using the proposed methodology, the present paper assesses the applicability of the index for the MENA region, by comparing the situation of oil-rich and water-poor countries (Gulf States) with that of lower-income yet water-rich countries (Horn of Africa states).
Postprint of: Jemali, H & Sullivan, CA 2014, 'Multidimensional analysis of water poverty in MENA Region: an empirical comparison with physical indicators', Social Indicators Research, vol. 115, no. 1, pp. 253-277.
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