Inequality in water supply in India: an assessment using the Gini and Theil indices
- 265 Downloads
Provision of drinking water is considered to be an essential public service. Ensuring adequate water supply remains a challenge in Indian cities that are experiencing rapid growth and often exhibit a mismatch between increasing demands and inadequate supply infrastructure. This study quantifies the existing inequality in water supply within Indian cities through Lorenz curve, Gini coefficient as well as Theil indices. Two types of Theil indices are estimated to gain different perspectives: water supply and population-weighted. Both the Theil indices are disaggregated, according to economic and regional categorisation of the cities, to explore the within- and between-group inequality. The water supply and population-weighted Theil indices provide different outlook of the inequality amongst the cities. But the population-weighted index is often better and pragmatic. Further, the inequality in access to tap water in India is studied by estimating modified Lorenz curves and Theil indices. Again, the Theil indices are decomposed into within and between components according to economic and regional grouping of states. The results suggest that there is disparity in supply of water in India, and infrastructure has to be boosted to meet the growing demand. This study is a step towards quantification of water supply inequality. The approach used in the study can contribute to monitoring of water supply equity as well as in formulating sustainable and equitable water policies.
KeywordsWater supply Inequality Gini coefficient Theil index India
We would like to thank Prof. Ashish Singh (Assistant Professor, Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay) for his valuable suggestions. We are also grateful to the anonymous reviewers whose comments have helped in improving the article.
This work was supported by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, under Grant 11DST078.
- Berthe, A. (2014). Measuring inequality in the access to water and sanitation services in the North and Nordeste of Brazil: what lessons for social justice? Paper presented at Social Justice 2014 conference, London School of Economics. http://www.socialjustice2014.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/17.-Alexandre-Berthe-%E2%80%98Measuring-inequality-in-the-access-to-water-and-sanitation-services-in-the-North-and-Nordeste-of-Brazil-what-lessons-for-social-justice%E2%80%99.pdf. Accessed 30 Sept 2015.
- Calow, R., & Mason, N. (2014). The real water crisis: inequality in a fast changing world. Overseas Development Institute. https://www.odi.org/sites/odi.org.uk/files/odi-assets/publications-opinion-files/8953.pdf. Accessed 3 Nov 2016.
- Chen, D., Ma, X., Mu, H., & Li, P. (2010). The inequality of natural resources consumption and its relationship with the social development level based on the ecological footprint and the HDI. Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management, 12(01), 69–86. doi: 10.1142/S1464333210003528.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Conceição, P., & Ferreira, P. (2000). The young person’s guide to the Theil index: Suggesting intuitive interpretations and exploring analytical applications. UTIP Working Paper Number 14. http://utip.lbj.utexas.edu/papers/utip_14.pdf. Accessed 31 Oct 2016.
- Directorates of Economics & Statistics. (2010a). State-wise Per Capita Net State Domestic Product at Current Prices in India: Part II. http://www.indiastat.com/table/percapitaavailability/24/income/131/61286/data.aspx. Accessed 9 Sept 2015.
- Directorates of Economics & Statistics. (2010b). Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation: Per capita Net State Domestic Product at current prices. http://mospi.nic.in/Mospi_New/upload/statewise_sdp1999_2000_8feb10.pdf. Accessed 9 Sept 2015.
- Directorates of Economics & Statistics. (2014). Per capita net state domestic product at current prices. https://data.gov.in/catalog/capita-net-state-domestic-product-current-prices#web_catalog_tabs_block_10. Accessed 9 Sept 2015.
- Fatah, S. (2013). In India, water and inequality are intertwined. Public Radio International. http://www.pri.org/stories/2013-03-04/india-water-and-inequality-are-intertwined. Accessed 4 Nov 2016.
- Gini, C. (1912). Variabilità e Mutabilità (Variability and Mutability). Rome: Libreria Eredi Virgilio Veschi.Google Scholar
- Iyer, R., Cullet, P., Roy, K. J., Sivaramakrishnan, K. C., Upadhyay, V., Vani, M.S., & Ramaswamy, M (Sub-Group on a National Water Framework Law set up by the Planning Commission’s Working Group on Water Governance for the Twelfth Plan) (2011). The draft national water framework act: An explanatory note. http://www.planningcommission.nic.in/aboutus/committee/wrkgrp12/wr/wg_wtr_frame.pdf. Accessed 14 Sept 2016.
- Jacobson, A., Milman, A. D., & Kammen, D. M. (2005). Letting the (energy) Gini out of the bottle: Lorenz curves of cumulative electricity consumption and Gini coefficients as metrics of energy distribution and equity. Energy Policy, 33, 1825–1832. doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2004.02.017.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- McNeill, E. (2015). Population makeup is major factor in global resource allocation. Cornell Chronicle. http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/2015/10/population-makeup-major-factor-global-resource-allocation. Accessed 4 Nov 2016.
- Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (2012). Report of the 11th five year plan (2007–2012) Working Group on Urban Housing with Focus on Slums. http://planningcommission.nic.in/aboutus/committee/wrkgrp11/wg11_housing.pdf. Accessed 9 Sept 2015.
- Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Department of Personnel and Training, Government of India (2009). No.11016/2/2008-AIS-1I. http://ccis.nic.in/WriteReadData/CircularPortal/D2/D02ser/11016_2_2008-AIS-II.pdf. Accessed 7 Sept 2015.
- Ministry of Urban Development, Govt. of India (2010). Rajya Sabha Unstarred Question No. 527. http://126.96.36.199/question/annex/220/Au527.htm. Accessed 7 Sept 2015.
- Naidoo, J., & Wills, J. (2008). Health studies: An introduction. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
- Planning Commission of India (1997). 9th Five Year Plan (Vol. 2). http://planningcommission.nic.in/plans/planrel/fiveyr/9th/vol2/v2c3-7.htm. Accessed 7 Sept. 2015.
- Planning Commission of India (2002). India assessment 2002, Water Supply and Sanitation. http://planningcommission.nic.in/reports/genrep/wtrsani.pdf. Accessed 7 Sept 2015.
- Registrar General of India. (1999). Census of India 1991. New Delhi: Government of India.Google Scholar
- Registrar General of India. (2001). Census of India 2001. New Delhi: Government of India.Google Scholar
- Registrar General of India. (2011). Census of India 2011. New Delhi: Government of India.Google Scholar
- Samra, S., Crowley, J., & Fawzi, M. C. S. (2011). The right to water in rural Punjab: Assessing equitable access to water through the Punjab rural water supply and sanitation project. Health Human Rights, 13(2), 36–49.Google Scholar
- Shodhganga (2004). Chapter-IV Housing finance schemes in India: An analysis. http://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/159/4/13_chapter4.pdf. Accessed 7 Sept 2015.
- Theil, H. (1967). Economics and information theory. Amsterdam: North-Holland Publishing Company.Google Scholar
- UNDP (2006). Human Development Report 2006, Beyond Scarcity: Power, Poverty and the Global Water Crisis. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. http://www.undp.org/content/dam/undp/library/corporate/HDR/2006%20Global%20HDR/HDR-2006-Beyond%20scarcity-Power-poverty-and-the-global-water-crisis.pdf. Accessed 5 Nov 2016.
- UNICEF & WHO. (2015). Progress on sanitation and drinking water—2015 update and MDG assessment. Geneva:WHO Press. http://www.wssinfo.org/fileadmin/user_upload/resources/JMP-Update-report-2015_English.pdf. Accessed 3 Nov 2016.
- United Nations (2015). Goal 6: Ensure access to water and sanitation for all. http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/water-and-sanitation/. Accessed 6 Aug 2016.
- Warwick-Booth, L. (2013). What is social inequality? In Social inequality a student’s guide. London: SAGE Publications Ltd. http://www.sagepub.com/upm-data/57024_Warwick__Social_Inequality.pdf. Accessed 7 Sept 2015.
- Water Aid. (2016). Water: At what cost? The State of the World’s Water 2016. http://www.wateraid.org/uk/~/media/Publications/Water–At-What-Cost–The-State-of-the-Worlds-Water-2016.pdf?la=en-GB. Accessed 3 Nov 2016.
- WHO (2008). How does safe drinking water impact global health? www.who.int/features/qa/70/en/. Accessed 3 Nov 2016.
- World Bank (2014). Running Water in India’s Cities: A review of five recent public-private partnership initiatives. Water and Sanitation Program. https://www.wsp.org/sites/wsp.org/files/publications/Running-Water-in-India-Public-Private-Partnership-Initiatives.pdf. Accessed 6 Nov 2016.
- WWAP (United Nations World Water Assessment Programme) (2015). The United Nations World Water Development Report 2015: Water for a Sustainable World. Paris:UNESCO. https://www.unesco-ihe.org/sites/default/files/wwdr_2015.pdf. Accessed 3 Nov 2016.
- Yahoo Finance India (2012). India’s top 15 cities with the highest GDP. https://in.finance.yahoo.com/photos/the-top-15-indian-cities-by-gdp-1348807591-slideshow/the-top-15-indian-cities-by-gdp-photo-1348807055.html. Accessed 15 Sept 2015.