Applying the Gini Coefficient to Measure Inequality of Water Use in the Olifants River Water Management Area, South Africa

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"Growing concerns about the allocation of increasingly scarce water resources warrant tools to quantify its distribution. The present study explores the application of the Gini Coefficient to this end. The tool is tested in the water-stressed Olifants Water Management Area, in South Africa. The Gini Coefficient for the distribution of entitlements to water is shown to be 0.96. The value was less when calculating the distribution of benefits from employment in water-dependent enterprises. Using this tool for policy scenarios, more than doubling the use of water by rural households would require the registered large-scale users to reduce their current entitlements by 6 percent. These and other applications highlight the potential usefulness of the Gini Coefficient to inform policymaking and monitoring of better sharing of water and its benefits in South Africa and elsewhere."



allocation rules, water management, equality, equity, river basins, households, rural affairs, irrigation