Few things are as insidious as bad water. It’s dangerous for you and your children, but you usually can’t tell if you have it. And if you do, you may not be able to find out where the problems are coming from. Water can carry some of our most serious diseases typhoid, dysentery, hepatitis – yet still look clear in the glass. We may do battle over how we get our water and develop it, but we fear for its quality.
This issue is being dealt with currently. There is a necessity to prevent pollution by passing laws which will maintain safe drinking water. However, this is difficult because it has become increasingly apparent that the sources of pollution are not just institutions that can be controlled by specific laws. The burden of pollution belongs to all of us.
Water’s nature itself is a part of these complications. This simple structure of hydrogen and oxygen has even been called the universal solvent. It takes into solution a vast number of substances, that is, dissolves them, but those it cannot dissolve are simply carried along. Human beings have put this characteristic to work in thousands of ways. We wash with it; we flush with it; we mix it with chemicals to spray on our fields. We use it to make paint and plastic. We wash our workshop, garage and factory with it.
But this remarkable utility also means that it’s very hard to put anything out of water’s reach. Consequently, a lot of things we don’t want in water get there anyway. If you pour poison on the ground, even in the most barren desert, water will pick it up molecule by molecule, and because water is always going somewhere, it will take it away.
Technically, water pollution can be divided into two types: point-source pollution (waste dumped by factories or sewage plants) and nonpoint-source pollution. In many ways, the second is the larger problem. Nonpoint-source pollution is what happens when you spill oil on the garage floor, then wash it down. It happens when a soybean field is sprayed with pesticides and then it rains. It happens when someone throws a dead battery into a valley, Water picks it all up and adds it to the system.
Water is in serious jeopardy because we’re not paying much attention to anything except pollution from a pipe. All this shows that a change is coming – a fundamental change in the way we use and think about water. It’s no use pointing fingers at industry. The only way to make progress is to have everyone realize that nonpoint-source pollution is the major cause of water pollution and to convince them that it is no longer possible to ignore fresh water.
A. Find words in the text which mean the same as the following.
1. unpleasant, develops without being noticed (paragraph 1):
2. clear, obvious (paragraph 2):
3. infertile (paragraph 4):
4. danger (paragraph 6):
5. basic (paragraph 7):
B. Mark the best choice.
1. Line 8, This issue’ refers to .
a) how we obtain our water
b) how we process our water
c) how we are uncertain about the quality of our water
d) how dirty water affects our children’s health negatively
2. Lines 22-23, ‘this remarkable utility’ refers to .
a) the difficulty of keeping water clean
b) washing with water
c) flushing with water
d) the multiple uses of water