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Assessing Temporal and Spatial Inequality of Water Footprint Based on Socioeconomic and Environmental Factors in Jilin Province, China

1
School of Geographical Sciences, Northeast Normal University, Changchun 130024, China
2
School of Natural Resources, University of Missouri, Colombia, MO 65211, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(3), 521; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11030521
Received: 24 December 2018 / Revised: 7 March 2019 / Accepted: 9 March 2019 / Published: 13 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Water Resources Management and Governance)
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Abstract

Freshwater resources are limited and uneven in their spatiotemporal distribution, and substantial increases in water demand from rapidly developing economies and concentrated populations place pressure on the available water. Research on the inequality of water footprint (WF) could provide countermeasures for the rational use and allocation of water resources. We evaluated the temporal and spatial inequality of WF using the Gini coefficient and imbalance index based on socioeconomic and environmental factors in Jilin Province. The results showed that from 2008 to 2015, the overall inequality of WF in Jilin Province was “relative equality”, and the inequalities between the WF and population, cultivated area were “high equality”; between the WF and gross domestic product (GDP) was “relative equality”; and between the WF and natural water endowment was “high inequality”. With respect to space, the differences of WF inequality were significant. In the west, the WF inequality changed greatly, from “relative equality” to “relative inequality” driven by population, GDP, cultivated area, and natural water endowment. In the middle, the WF inequality showed large internal differences with “high inequality” or “high equality” caused by GDP and natural water endowment. In the east, the WF inequality was relatively stable, at “high equality” or “neutral” affected by natural water endowment and population. The varied impact factors reflected the differences in natural resources and socioeconomic conditions in the various regions, and the results might provide a theoretical basis for guiding the rational allocation of water resources. View Full-Text
Keywords: inequality; water footprint; impact factors; Gini coefficient; imbalance index; water consumption inequality; water footprint; impact factors; Gini coefficient; imbalance index; water consumption
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Wang, J.; Qin, L.; He, H. Assessing Temporal and Spatial Inequality of Water Footprint Based on Socioeconomic and Environmental Factors in Jilin Province, China. Water 2019, 11, 521.

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