Access to Water as a Dimension of Poverty: The Need to Develop a Water Poverty Index as a Tool for Poverty Reduction

  • Caroline Sullivan
  • Jeremy Meigh
Part of the Natural Resource Management and Policy book series (NRMP, volume 25)


Poor people make up more than half of the world’s population. This huge group has a less than proportionate share of global income, while at the same time being heavily dependant on natural resources for survival. This means that they are extremely vulnerable to the impacts of social and political insecurity, and to other external shocks such as floods, drought, and the impacts of climate change. In an attempt to try to address this problem, there is a pressing need to develop innovative tools which can be used in bringing about a more equitable redistribution of water resources. It is with this in mind that work has been started to develop an integrated and holistic tool, capturing the wide range of issues influencing effective water management and policy. This tool has come to be known as the ‘Water Poverty Index’, and is designed to be applicable at a range of different scales. At the international level, the UN Sustainable Development Commission has called for better co-ordination and harmonization of indicator initiatives. The Director of the Statistical Division of DESA (Dept. of Economic and Social Affairs) has advised the Commission of the need for integrated and co-ordinated development indicators, and of the importance of adopting these both within the UN system and in other relevant international and national institutions (UNDP, 2000).


Human Development Index Natural Capital Ecological Water Requirement Water Poverty Sustainable Water Management 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Caroline Sullivan
    • 1
  • Jeremy Meigh
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Ecology & HydrologyWallingfordUK

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