Main definitions of water stress in US English:

: water stress1water stress2

water stress1

noun

  • 1Physiological stress experienced by a plant as a result of a lack of available moisture.

    ‘poor root–soil contact often creates water stress in newly transplanted trees’
  • 2A situation in which the water resources in a region or country are insufficient for its needs.

    ‘by then, some 47 percent of the world's population will be living in areas of high water stress’

Main definitions of water stress in US English:

: water stress1water stress2

water stress2

noun

  • 1Mechanical stress in a structure or part arising from the presence of water nearby or inside it.

  • 2Botany and Agriculture. Physiological stress experienced by a plant as a result of a lack of available moisture or a low water potential in the surrounding soil; an instance of this.

  • 3Economic or political pressures in a country or region as a result of insufficient access to fresh water.

Origin

Late 19th century; earliest use found in Power. From water + stress.