Water stress is a global concern, but a local problem. According to the European Environment Agency (EEA), 'water stress occurs when the demand for water exceeds the available amount during a certain period or when poor quality restricts its use. Water stress causes decline of fresh water resources in terms of quantity and quality.' To enable understanding of the impact of water consumption, the consumptive water use should therefore be mapped to where the consumption geographically occurs and the water stress at that location.
To refer to water stress, ACE uses the Water Exploitation Index (WEI), which was initiated by the EEA. It describes how the total water use puts pressure on water resources. The Index also identifies countries that use a lot of water in relation to their resources and are therefore likely to suffer water stress. According to the WEI, all ACE members' LPB mills are located in water rich areas, i.e. in Skoghall, Gävle and Frövi in Sweden and Imatra in Finland.