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Inequality of household water security follows a Development Kuznets Curve

Mao, Feng ORCID:, Miller, Joshua D., Young, Sera L., Krause, Stefan and Hannah, David M. 2022. Inequality of household water security follows a Development Kuznets Curve. Nature Communications 13 (1) , 4525. 10.1038/s41467-022-31867-3

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Abstract: Water security requires not only sufficient availability of and access to safe and acceptable quality for domestic uses, but also fair distribution within and across populations. However, a key research gap remains in understanding water security inequality and its dynamics, which in turn creates an impediment to tracking progress towards sustainable development. Therefore, we analyse the inequality of water security using data from 7603 households across 28 sites in 22 low- and middle-income countries, measured using the Household Water Insecurity Experiences Scale. Here we show an inverted-U shaped relationship between site water security and inequality of household water security. This Kuznets-like curve suggests a process that as water security grows, the inequality of water security first increases then decreases. This research extends the Kuznets curve applications and introduces the Development Kuznets Curve concept. Its practical implications support building water security and achieving more fair, inclusive, and sustainable development.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Additional Information: License information from Publisher: LICENSE 1: URL:, Type: open-access
Publisher: Nature Research
ISSN: 2041-1723
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 9 August 2022
Date of Acceptance: 30 June 2022
Last Modified: 26 Sep 2023 18:25

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