Combining the measure of water availability and the socioeconomic capacity to access to it gives new insights in the fields of water resources management and poverty alleviation. This approach lets researchers think about a new multidimensional water scarcity indexes as applied to the definition of the Water Poverty Index (WPI) by Sullivan (2002) in “Calculating a Water Poverty Index”. In the methodology initiated by Sullivan and Lawrence (2002) water for the calculation of the WPI was based on equally weighted average for its five components (Resources, Capacity, Access, Use, and Environment) to produce a single components Indexes scores. The main objective of this paper is to improve this procedure by using an objective weighting scheme. For this purpose we use a principal component analysis to give more weight to components with larger variance and to discard components with smaller ones. This improved WPI is applied, thanks to a rich data set collected by our own efforts, to the case of Tunisia. We have obtained high-quality results which could help policy makers to devise better policies to alleviate water poverty in the Inland region which was the bed of the Tunisian revolution beginning.
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