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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.

closed as off-topic by Nigel J, Hellion, Skooba, MetaEd Dec 19 '17 at 22:58

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions on choosing an ideal word or phrase must include information on how it will be used in order to be answered. For help writing a good word or phrase request, see: About single word requests" – Nigel J, Hellion, Skooba, MetaEd
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    As with all one-word requests, a sample sentence is needed which demonstrates how your word would be used in context. – Nigel J Dec 19 '17 at 13:04
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    ‘Increasing degree of scarcity’ should definitely be avoided unless the tone in general is humorous. It makes the reader do an unnecessary semantic double-take. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Dec 19 '17 at 20:39
  • Avoid posting word or phrase requests without: (i) your criteria for accepting answers, including connotation, register, and part of speech; (ii) exact context – generally we want the sentence you’re writing; and (iii) details of research you’ve already done (trips to the thesaurus, etc.) including solutions you’ve already rejected, and why. See: “Single word requests, crosswords, and the fight against mediocrity – ELU Meta”; “Real Questions Have Answers – SE Blog”. – MetaEd Dec 19 '17 at 22:58
  • @NigelJ I have provided an example sentence. Does that not suffice? I held back from putting the actual sentence, as the article is a neuroscience paper with quite a few distracting academic terms. – Sahil M Dec 20 '17 at 12:42
  • @JanusBahsJacquet I agree. Thank you for the correction. – Sahil M Dec 20 '17 at 12:43
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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.

Dictionary.com

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    ... And if you say "has reached a critical point," it also implies prior escalation over time. – Misha R Dec 21 '17 at 16:37
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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
from m-w.com

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

0

Come to a head.

From Cambridge University Press Dictionary: Reach a point where some strong action must be taken.

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Endemic may apply in your example. "We must start deploying efficient rainwater harvesting solutions now, given the endemic drought.

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tipping point or boiling point

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    These suggestions are a good beginning but really need definitions and cited sources to be a complete answer. – Kristina Lopez Dec 19 '17 at 23:32

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