What is Water Stress?

If you’re part of an industry that produces slurry and wastewater, you’re hopefully no stranger to recycling water. You know that wastewater cannot simply be dumped, that it needs to be treated first to remove chemicals and balance pH levels. Before we can fully understand the importance of recycling water and investing in dewatering equipment that can streamline the process with certain applications, like the concrete industry, we must first understand what water stress is.


Water stress can be defined as “physiological stress experienced by a plant as a result of a lack of available moisture” or “a situation in which the water resources in a region or country are insufficient for its needs.” Water stress, therefore, is a situation caused by water scarcity. The demand for water is higher than the availability of the resource. Water crisis is categorized by an issue with water scarcity that affects functions within a government or state. The World Economic Forums listed water scarcity as a global risk in 2019.


Approximately 2 billion people are living in countries that are experiencing high water stress, while 4 billion people are living in countries that experience severe water scarcity at least once per month. Population growth, socioeconomic development, and changing consumption patterns have been contributing to a worldwide 1% increase in water use per year since the 1980s. Predictions state that this increase will continue at a similar rate until 2050. Stress levels will only increase as climate change intensifies. Many point to poor water management as the true culprit of the water crisis, not the scarcity of the resource.


Safe drinking water is classified as a basic human right, but not everyone in the world has access to sanitary water. In March of this year, the United Nations World Water Development Report launched the campaign called “leaving no one behind,” which aims to improve social and economic inequities.  Not only do improvements in the management of water resources need to be addressed, but the accessibility to a sanitary water supply should be fixed.


There are many lifestyle changes people can make to protect our water sources. One of the ways we can work toward preserving the valuable resource is to recycle water, and to avoid dumping wastewater into bodies of water or letting it absorb into the ground. Other changes include changing food habits. Consider how much water the beef industry uses, for instance. Cutting back on meat consumption or following a plant-based diet altogether can make a world of difference.


Water recycling is where we come in. If you need help with water recycling in the concrete industry, we’re the people to call.


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