22/05/05

Despite water covering 71% of the planet’s surface, more than half the world’s population endures extreme water scarcity for at least one month a year. Current estimates predict that by 2040, up to 20 more countries could be experiencing water shortages. These statistics raise a startling question: is the Earth running out of clean water?

 

 

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Glossary

 

  • bleak – if a situation is bleak, there is little or no hope for the future
  • to morph – if one thing morphs into another thing, especially something very different, the first thing changes into the second
  • aquifer – a water-bearing stratum of permeable rock, sand, or gravel
  • permafrost – a layer of frozen ground with a temperature colder than 0 °C continuously for two or more years
  • to deplete – to reduce something in size or amount, especially supplies of energy, etc
  • to replenish – to fill (something) up again
  • to guzzle – to drink greedily or habitually; to consume; to use up

 

Now decide if the sentences below are True or False?

 

1. For more than 50% of the world`s population water is scarce due to the fact that water covers 71% of our planet’s surface.

2. The water cycle is a system that reuses water which changes its state from vapour, to liquid and finally to ice as it goes around the globe.

3. In spite of the fact water is used up in certain areas, it’ll always be filled up and will return to its earlier condition.

4. 57% of Earth’s vital underground reservoirs are likely to be emptied.

5. Over 90% of our water consumption is spent on breeding livestock.

6. Farmers try to grow plants that use less water.

7. Other industries follow the example of farmers starting to use such production processes that recycle water.

8. One can reduce his/her water consumption by two-thirds eating less meat.

 

Key: 1F; 2T; 3F; 4T; 5F; 6T; 7T; 8F

 

Practice Makes Perfect

Replace the words in bold in the text with the words below:

 

wounded           scarcer                  disrupting          annexed              compel

wrecked             vulnerable          vicious                diverting (it)      instances

     

Thirst can kill—and so can hunger—when essential agriculture goes dry.

 

At the beginning of the war in Ukraine, Russian forces destroyed a concrete dam in southern Ukraine. Ukrainians had built the structure in 2014, after Russia illegally 1. incorporated Crimea, with the aim of blocking Dnieper River water that had flowed to Crimea since the Soviet era and 2. changing its course to the Ukrainian city of Kherson.

It’s unclear whether the attack on the dam was Russia’s way of settling a score in the early days of its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, but it highlights how 3. disturbing an enemy’s access to water can be an especially 4. heartless tactic of war, and since water makes food production possible, how it can be used with devastating impact on civilians.

According to the water-focused think tank Pacific Institute, there have been a number of 5. occurrences around the world this year where military action has destroyed water supply. In addition to the dam in Ukraine, there was an airstrike that hit water tanks in Yemen and an assault by the insurgent group Al-Shabaab on water supply in Somalia, which killed 10 soldiers and injured 15. In Mali, attacks on villages took out water infrastructure and killed four, and in Palestine, the Israeli military destroyed agricultural facilities that included a water tank. In Syria, a country already suffering through years of war and drought, Russian warplanes 6. destroyed a water station and also 7. injured a worker.

“The basic idea of war is that it’s organized violence and to use the threat of force to 8. pressure people,” said Matthew Schmidt, an associate professor of national security and political science at the University of New Haven. “Because we have to drink water to survive, it’s always been a weapon of war.” After post-World War II human-rights accords, the instances where water was used as a weapon subsided. With climate change making drought likelier and water 9. in short supply, that might be starting to shift, Schmidt said. “There was a moral sense that we shouldn’t do that. In Ukraine, you ponder whether Russia has broken that taboo.”

Ukraine is known as Europe’s breadbasket, and a global hunger catastrophe looms as war pinches the country’s harvests of staples such as wheat and sunflower oil. North Africa and the Middle East are especially 10. endangered because they’re big customers of Ukrainian agriculture. Water, of course, has a lot to do with farming.

 

Key: : 1.annexed; 2. diverting it; 3. disrupting; 4. vicious; 5. instances; 6. wrecked; 7. wounded; 8. compel; 9. scarcer; 10. vulnerable

In order to read the whole article, go to: https://www.forbes.com/sites/chloesorvino/2022/04/27/water-emerges-as-weapon-of-war-in-ukraine-and-beyond/?sh=7dd8d9f41c6d

 

 

Discuss

 

  • Do you buy mineral water or drink tap water?
  • How many glasses of water do you drink every day?
  • Do you ever ponder how precious water is?
  • Do you ever worry about the availability of water in the future ?
  • What do you make of the fact that most of the world’s population is without clean water, yet rich countries spend billions on oil, brand goods, tourism, etc.?

 

Explore it more to create your own teaching-learning experience!

 

A bath without water

If you had to walk a mile for a jug of water every day, as millions of people do, it’s unlikely you’d use that precious water to bathe. Young entrepreneur Ludwick Marishane tells the amazing, funny story of how he invented a cheap, clean and convenient solution: DryBath, the world’s first bath-substituting lotion.

 

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