What is a Hot Stain?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

A hot stain is a region of the world which is beginning to run out of safe water to drink. In the late 1990s, researchers began to realize that hot stains could soon pose a serious global problem, as water resources could potentially become hotly contested battlegrounds. The pressure on the world's supplies of potable water has only increased, raising serious concerns among scientists and researchers all over the world.

Man holding a globe
Man holding a globe

Today, hot stains can be found on every continent, except for Antarctica. There are a wide number of reasons for a hot stain to emerge, and these reasons impact everyone from developing nations which are struggling to support their populations to well-industrialized countries. As a result, some organizations and scientists feel that the world should band together to address the hot stain problem, as scarcity of water could become a critical issue in the 21st century.

One of the most common reasons for a hot stain to develop is population pressure. As a population grows, it demands more water, in the form of water for consumption, water for agriculture, water for industry, water for household tasks, and water for ornamental gardening. In some areas, water supplies may be able to cope with the increased demand, but in other regions, a hot stain can develop, with water resources dwindling in response to pressure.

Climate change can also impact hot stain formation, by restricting the supplies of available water. Hot stains are also common in areas where large amounts of water are diverted for agriculture, commercial sale, or industry. In addition to depriving people of water, such hot stains can also hurt the environment and local wildlife, causing increased biological instability which could potentially be very harmful.

In the developing world, a hot stain can form for any or all of the above reasons, and it can also form because a country lacks the infrastructure and the skills to establish water purification plants, or to isolate sewage and other harmful materials from the water supply. In these cases, water may be available for use, but it is essentially worthless because the country cannot access it in a potable form. Several charities have attempted to address this issue by creating low-cost options for water purification and treatment.

Water matters to everyone, as historic fights over water rights all over the world can illustrate. Hot stains, therefore, are of pressing concern, because some scientists feel that they could create a cascade effect. As people in a hot stain demand support from other regions, those regions in turn will run on water, creating another hot stain, and so on down the line.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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