Article | November 3, 2022

Water Scarcity And Water Stress: The Difference And Solution

Source: Badger Meter

Water stress, as experienced on the East Coast of the U.S. and other parts of the world, is a different challenge from water scarcity, which has occurred on the West Coast, Midwest, and elsewhere. Water utilities are struggling under the weight of these problems and addressing them with varying degrees of success.

Water scarcity is when there isn’t enough water in the region. In Pittsburgh, there are two rivers running through the community, as opposed to anywhere in Arizona, where most residents are miles away from an easily accessible water source. By contrast, water stress is a combination of water availability and water quality, such as in Flint, MI, where water was abundant—but poor infrastructure upkeep rendered it too toxic for use.

While the challenges of water scarcity and water stress may be different, the solutions are often similar. Understanding the distinction and similarities is the first step in building a plan for a more sustainable, resilient water distribution system.


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