Hot stain

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A hot stain is a region of the world where safe drinking water has been depleted.[1] The term may have been coined by Goldman Environmental Prize winning hydrologist Michal Kravcik.[2] Hot stains can be found on every continent, except for Antarctica. The biggest reason for a hot stain to develop is population pressure. As the population grows, water demand increases.[3] Although the earth is covered in 97% water, only 1% of that water is available for human consumption.[4] Hot stains can cause great harm to a regions agricultural ability and can lead to food scarcity, famine, and even the abandonment of the region.[5]

Maude Barlow an environmental activist, head of the Council of Canadians, and founder of the Blue Planet Project has used the term 'hot stain' in regard to water resources.[6] In 2005, Maude Barlow received Sweden's Right Livelihood Award.

Water resources[edit]

'Hot stains' areas are one term given where water reserves are disappearing. These areas include the Middle East, Northern China, Mexico, California and almost two dozen countries in Africa. Today thirty-one countries and over 1 billion people completely lack access to clean water. The global freshwater crisis looms as one of the greatest threats ever to the survival of our planet according to Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke in an article in The Nation magazine.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Maude Barlow (2008-02-01). Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis And The Coming Battle For The Right To Water. The New Press. p. 208. ISBN 978-1-59558-186-0. Retrieved 2009-02-01. 
  2. ^ Maude Barlow, Tony Clarke (2002). Blue Gold: The fight to stop the corporate theft of the world's water. The New Press, New York. p. 12. ISBN 1-56584-731-8. Retrieved 2010-03-21. Kravcik's scientists have also issued a dire warning about the growing number of what they call "hot stains" on the earth - places where previously existing water has already disappeared. In the near future, the "drying out" of the earth will cause drought; massive global warming with, its attendant extremes in weather; less protection from the atmosphere; increased solar radiation; decreased biodiversity; the melting of the polar ice caps; submersion of vast territories; massive continental desertification; and eventually, in Michael Kravcik's words, "global collapse". 
  3. ^ Maude Barlow (2008-06-12). "Where Has All the Water Gone?". The American Prospect. Retrieved 2009-02-01. Scientists call them "hot stains" -- the parts of the Earth now running out of potable water. They include northern China, large areas of Asia and Africa, the Middle East, Australia, the Midwestern United States, and sections of South America and Mexico. 
  4. ^ "Human Appropriation of the World's Fresh Water Supply". Retrieved 2015-11-26. 
  5. ^ Ikerd, John (13-5-18). "Who Pays The Cost of Water Depletion?". University of Missouri. Retrieved 15-11-25.  Check date values in: |access-date=, |date= (help)
  6. ^ "Blue Planet Project website". Retrieved 2009-09-10. 
  7. ^ Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke (September 2, 2002). "Who Owns Water?". The Nation. Retrieved 2009-09-10. 

External links[edit]

  • Kirk James Murphy, M.D. (July 12, 2008). "The End of Drinking Water?". Fire Dog Lake. Retrieved 2010-03-19. A hot stain is a region of the world which is beginning to run out of safe water to drink. 
  • David Barsamian (2008-03-16). "Maude Barlow: The Global Water Crisis, an interview". Munich American Peace Committee. Retrieved 2010-03-19. A hot stain is a part of the world that's actually running out. It isn't cyclical drought, or it's a combination of cyclical drought and lack of water that reinforces itself. These are parts of the world that are literally not going to be habitable without trucking in water or finding some new source of water. They are running out of water. 
  • "Fair water use". Fair Water Use. Retrieved 2010-03-19. Australia has been identified a "hot stain": a region of the Earth currently running out of potable water.