IELTS Reading Matching Features Example 4
Problems With Water
A. Nearly half the world’s population will experience critical water shortages by 2025, according to the United Nations (UN). Wars over access to water are a rising possibility in this century and the main conflicts in Africa during the next 25 years could be over this most precious of commodities, as countries fight for access to scarce resources. “Potential water wars are likely in areas where rivers and lakes are shared by more than one country,” says Mark Evans, a UN worker. Evans predicts that “population growth and economic development will lead to nearly one in two people in Africa living in countries facing water scarcity or what is known as ‘water stress’ within 25 years.” How to deal with water shortages is in the forefront of the battle between environment activists on the one hand and governments and construction firon the other. At the recent World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg activists continued their campaign to halt dam construction, while many governments were outraged about a vocal minority thwarting their plans.One of the UN’s eight millennium development goals is to halve the proportion of people without “sustainable” access to safe drinking water by 2015. How to ensure this happens was one of the big issues of the summit. Much of the text on this was already agreed, but one of the unresolved issues in the implementation plan was whether the goal on water would be extended to cover sanitation. The risks posed by water-borne diseases in the absence of sanitation facilities means the two goals are closely related. Only US negotiators have been resisting the extension of goals to include sanitation due to the financial commitment this would entail. However, Evans says the US is about to agree to this extension. This agreement could give the UN a chance to show that in one key area the world development agenda was advanced in Johannesburg. But the UN has said Johannesburg was not about words alone, but implementation.
B. A number of projects and funding initiatives were unveiled at the summit. But implementation is always harder, as South Africa has experienced in its water programme. Graham Bennetts, a water official in the South African government explains: “Since the 1994 elections the government has provided easy access to water to 7 million people, but extending this to a further 7 million and ensuring this progress is sustainable is one of South Africa’s foremost implementation challenges.” In South Africa, access to water is defined as 25 litres a person daily, within a distance of 200m from where they live. “Although South Africa’s feat far exceeds the UN millennium goal on water supply, severe constraints on local government capacity make a more rapid expansion difficult,” says Bennetts. For some of those who have only recently been given ready access to water, their gains are under threat as the number of cut-offs by municipalities for non-payment rise, says Liane Greef of the Environmental Monitoring Group. Greef is programme manager for Water Justice in southern Africa. Those who have their water supply cut off also automatically forfeit their right to 6000 free litres of water for a family a month under South Africa’s “water for all” policy. In the face of continued increases in unemployment, payment for water and other utilities has the potential to fast undo government’s high profile feats in delivery since 1994. It is also the way of ensuring sufficient water supply and its management that will increasingly become a political battleground in South Africa. Water Affairs director-general Mike Muller says South Africa is near the end of its dam-building programme.
Questions 1 – 5
Match the views with the people listed below.
- South Africa has almost completed its plans for building dams.
- Local government has excluded some South African households from getting free water for not meeting their bills.
- The World Summit in Johannesburg will soon have its aims on hygiene agreed among all participants.
- Faster development of water supply in South Africa is limited by the facilities of community administrations.
|MM Mike Muller
FR Frank Rijsbereman
ME Mark Evans
LG Liane Greef
GB Graham Bennetts
|For the first question, the answer is in the second para, 18th line; “Water Affairs director-general Mike Muller says South Africa is near the end of its dam-building programme.”
The second answer is in the second para, 9th line; “For some of those who have only recently been given ready access to water, their gains are under threat as the number of cut-offs by municipalities for non-payment rise, says Liane Greef of the Environmental Monitoring Group.”
The third answer is in the first para, 19th line; “However, Evans says the US is about to agree to this extension.”
The fourth answer is in the second para, 8th line; “Although South Africa’s feat far exceeds the UN millennium goal on water supply, severe constraints on local government capacity make a more rapid expansion difficult,” says Bennetts.”