I'm trying to write an article where I am talking about a phenomenon that has been creeping in the background, and has now reached epic proportions that deserves immediate attention. For example, I'd like a positive word (so not "a mounting problem") for saying this concisely: We must start deploying efficient rainwater harvesting solutions now, given the increasing degree of water scarcity. I'm pretty sure there's a word for it, but I couldn't find it using a thesaurus. A concise phrase would be the next best thing.
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You could use the scientific term “Critical point” in a literary way to describe the moments in which a paradigm shift or significant change occurs.
critical point noun/
Physics The point at which a substance in one phase, as the liquid, has the same density, pressure, and temperature as in another phase, as the gaseous.
You might say that water scarcity has crossed a threshold:
3b : a level, point, or value above which something is true or will take place and below which it is not or will not
Alternatively, water scarcity may be approaching, or may have already reached or crossed a tipping point:
: the critical point in a situation, process, or system beyond which a significant and often unstoppable effect or change takes place
also from m-w.com
Come to a head.
From Cambridge University Press Dictionary: Reach a point where some strong action must be taken.
Endemic may apply in your example. "We must start deploying efficient rainwater harvesting solutions now, given the endemic drought.
tipping point or boiling point