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4 UNIT I WATER: THE ELIXIR OF LIFE Question Time Discuss the following question.

What would our planet be like if it were not for water Time for Reading I. Read the text and choose the best answer (a, b or c).

1) Paragraph I is mostly about:

a) the wonders of water;

b) water as the most wonderful substance on the Earth;

c) properties of water.

2) Paragraph II is mostly about:

a) how water possesses a high heat capacity;

b) how water has conditioned the Earths climate;

c) how seas, oceans act as heat accumulators.

3) Paragraph III is mostly about:

a) water gradually turns into ice;

b) the cold of outer space penetrated into the Earth;

c) the water vapor acts like a layer of cotton wool.

4) Paragraph IV is mostly about:

a) the unique role of water in nature;

b) waters ability to form a strong surface film;

c) how life originated in primeval seas.

II. Find in the text the following information.

1) Water created life on the Earth;

2) water as a common thing on the planet;

3) water possesses a high heat capacity;

4) waters latent heat of melting and evaporation is extremely high.

THE SUBSTANCE TO WHICH OUR PLANET OWES ITS EXISTENCE (I) When an astronomer trains his telescope at one of the planets neighboring the Earth, he always wonders about the presence of water and oxygen there. His interest is quite natural: should they exist in any quantity on the planet life there might be expected somehow to resemble ours. It is water that brought our Earth into existence, developed it to its present state, and created life. Above all these, water is the most wonderful substance on the Earth and the more we learn about it the more we marvel at it. Hardly anybody has ever speculated on the remarkable properties of water, and no wonder: we encounter water everywhere; it is a common thing on our planet. Three quarters of the Earths surface is covered by water, with about one fifth of the land covered with solidified water (ice and snow); clouds of water vapor and tiny drops always shroud a good half of that land, where there are no clouds watervapor is always present in the air. That is how common water is on our planet: it constitutes as much as seventy-one per cent of the human body. And common things are never regarded as wonderful. Its very commonplaceness, however, is extraordinary. No other substance is more abundant on the Earth and none occurs in three states at the same time: solid, liquid and gaseous.

(II) Water has conditioned the Earths climate. But for water our planet would have cooled long ago and all life would have disappeared. Water possesses a high heat capacity. When warmed it absorbs much heat, and cooling it loses it. Oceans, seas, and other reservoirs on our planet, as well as atmospheric vapor act as heat accumulators: in warm weather they absorb heat, and when it is cold they give it off, so warming the air and all surrounding space.

(III) Nonetheless the Earth would freeze in the long run if it were not for another of waters remarkable properties. It is common knowledge that almost all substances contract on cooling, but water expands. If it contracted, ice would be heavier than water and would sink. All the water would gradually turn into ice and the Earth would be left with a very light mantle of a gaseous atmosphere containing no water vapor. The cold of outer space would long ago have penetrated the Earth but for its warm coat. This coat is the atmosphere which surrounds our planet, the water vapor acting like a layer of cotton wool. Over deserts where water vapor is scarce the coat is full of holes. Thus unprotected, the Earth is fiercely heated by the sun in daytime and cools off completely overnight. That is why temperature fluctuations in the desert are so great.

(IV) Water has one more extraordinary characteristic: its latent heat of melting and evaporation is extremely high. It is only due to this that life is possible in a hot climate. Only by evaporating water (i.e. giving off a large amount of heat) can animals and men maintain their body temperature several degrees lower than that of the ambient atmosphere. The role of water in nature is unique because life would be impossible without it. Life originated in primeval seas from the substances dissolved in them. Ever since then chemical reactions have been occurring in every cell of all animals and plants between the dissolved substances. Perhaps the least known among the remarkable properties of water is its ability to form an extremely strong mutual attraction of molecules in the upper most layers. Its surface tension is strong enough to support things which seemingly should not float.

Did You Get It I. Correct the following sentences.

1) Water constitutes as much as 70 per cent of the human body.

2) It is common knowledge that all substances contract on cooling.

3) Three quarters of the earths surface is covered by water, with about one forth of the land is covered by solidified water.

4) Over deserts where water vapor is scarce the coat is not full of holes.

5) Only by evaporating water can animals and men maintain their body temperature several degrees higher than that of the ambient atmosphere.

6) Life originated in shallow seas from the substances dissolved in them.

II. Answer the questions.

1) Who wonders about the presence of water and oxygen on the planets neighboring the Earth 2) What brought our Earth to existence 3) Why is water the most wonderful substance on the earth 4) What part of the Earth surface is covered by water 5) What percentage of the human body does water constitute 6) Water occurs in three states at the same time: solid, liquid and gaseous, doesnt it 7) What substance has conditioned the earths climate 8) What does water possess 9) What reservoirs act as heat accumulators 10) What substances on the Earth contract on cooling 11) What is the coat of the Earth 12) How does water vapor act on the planet 13) Where is atmosphere full of holes 14) Where is the Earth fiercely heated by the Sun 15) What one more extraordinary characteristic does water have 16) How can animals and men maintain their body temperature 17) Why is the role of water unique in nature 18) Where did life originate 19) What remarkable properties of water do you know 20) What forms an extremely strong surface film Words, Words, Words I. Complete the word combinations below by adding an appropriate noun from the box. Some can combine with more than one noun.

substance state coat thing capacity fluctuations water accumulators temperature vapor properties reactions drops mantle film body atmosphere tension 1. heat 1. atmospheric _ 2. ambient _ 2. common _ 3. solidified 3. human _ 4. remarkable _ 4. light _ 5. warm _ 5. liquid _ 6. surface 6. tiny _ 7. wonderful 7. solid _ 8. water _ 8. temperature _ 9. chemical _ 9. gaseous _ 10. body _ II. Find words in the text that mean the following. The number of the paragraph is given to help you.

regarded as (I) dissolved in (IV) tension (IV) resemble (I) conditioned (II) contract (III) light heat capacity (II) exist in (I) scarce (III) III. Study the words and word combinations in the box.

solid dissolve abundant vapor surface film constitute originate solidified liquid expand evaporation gaseous heat capacity chemical reactions Which words describe:

a) a common thing on the planet;

b) the properties of water;

c) the role of water in nature.

IV. Find the following in the text.

1) a noun meaning being present in a place 2) a phrasal verb meaning send out (smoke, vapor) 3) a verb meaning be real 4) a verb meaning be the components of 5) a noun meaning state of 6) an adjective meaning more than enough 7) an adjective meaning concerned with nature 8) a noun meaning warmth, hotness 9) a phrasal verb meaning become calm 10) an adjective meaning very small V. Match up the words with their definitions.

1. property particular kind of matter 2. surface make or become larger 3. evaporate take in (liquid, heat, light) 4. ability the fact of owing or being owned 5. scarce outside of any object 6. substance capacity or power to do something physical or mental) 7. originate remove liquid from a substance 8. capacity have as a cause or beginning 9. absorb possibility of holding, containing, learning 10. contract take place, happen 11. expand make a way into or through 12. fluctuate make or become smaller or shorter 13. occur not available in sufficient quantity 14. penetrate move up and down Time to Talk I. Work in pairs. Discuss the following question.

How has water conditioned the Earths climate II. Think about your attitudes to such things as:

a. the presence of water on the Earth;

b. the characteristics of water;

c. the role of water in nature.


In class organize a survey The world's biggest water problem in the future.

An interviewer: your job is to ask your group mates what the worlds biggest water problem will be. They should select an answer from the table below.

Summarize the results of the survey completing the table below. Share the results with the group and the teacher.

Problem We will not Water will Drinking Water systems There won't have be too water will (infrastructure) be major enough polluted be unsafe. will break water Student water down problems Student Student Student etc.

Total II. Discuss in pairs the following.

Are there any signs of water crisis in the region where you live Time for Reading I. Skim through the article from the on-line magazine and say under what headline the author:

a. mentions the recommended basic water requirement per person per day;

b. states that 97% of liquid freshwater is stored underground;

c. predicts that by 2025 two-thirds of the worlds people will be facing water stress;

d. describes diseases caused by dirty water;

e. dwells upon the usage of water in the world;

f. remarks that water is not distributed evenly over the Earths surface;

g. touches upon a problem of water pollution;

h. thinks that malaria is the biggest killer;

i. doubts that there is any progress as far as water supply and sanitation provision are concerned;

WATER CRISIS ALREADY HERE BASICS On our blue planet 97.5% of the water is saltwater, unfit for human use.

The majority of freshwater is beyond our reach, locked into polar snow and ice.

Less than 1% of freshwater is usable, amounting to only 0.01% of the Earths total water.

Even this would be enough to support the worlds population three times over, if used with care.

However, water like population isnt distributed evenly. Asia has the greatest annual availability of freshwater and Australia the lowest. But when population is taken into account the picture looks very different. For instance, the Congo River and its tributaries account for about 30 % of the entire African continent's annual runoff, but the watershed contains only 10 % of Africa's population.

Throughout much of the developing world the freshwater supply comes in the form of seasonal rains. Such rains run off too quickly for efficient use. India, for example, gets 90 % of its annual rainfall during the summer monsoon season, which lasts from June to September. For the other eight months the country gets barely a drop.

WHERES IT GOING Our increasing thirst is a result of growing population, industrial development and the expansion of irrigated farming. In the past years, the area of irrigated land has doubled.

SIGNS OF STRESS By the mid-1990s, 80 countries People without access home to 40% of world population to a safe water supply, 2000 (in mil.) encountered serious water Region Rural Urban Total shortages. Worst affected are Africa 256 44 Africa and the Middle East.

Asia 595 98 In Metro Manila, capital of the Latin America 49 29 Philippines, for instance, there was and the a time when the water agency Caribbean issued a call for public prayer to Oceania 3 0 ask Almighty God for the rains to Europe 23 3 come. Even during the rainy North America 0 0 season, supply of potable water is World 926 174 1,still inadequate.

The only ray of hope is that the By 2025 two-thirds of the worlds growth in actual use of water has been people will be facing water stress.

The global demand for water will slower than predicted.

have grown by over 40% by then.

IN SICKNESS AND HEALTH Dirty water is the cause of numerous diseases, but improving hygiene and sanitation are equally important in order to curb water-related diseases.

Diseases of contamination Insect-related diseases Parasites Cholera is only one of a Malaria, borne by water- Found in 76 countries, great many waterborne or breeding mosquitoes, is schistosomiasis kills some water-related illnesses. The the biggest killer, causing 200,000 people every year diarrhoeal diseases alone about 2 million deaths a After a peak in the late kill about four million year, including more than 1980s, guinea-worm people a year, of whom 80 a million young children, infections have been % are children. Just being a large proportion of them declining as water sources able to wash ones hands in Africa. are better monitored.

with soap and water can reduce diarrhoea by 35%.

NEEDING AND GETTING Population using the least amount of The recommended basic water water requirement per person per day is Country Liters of water used litres. But people can get by with about per person per day 30 litres: 5 litres for drinking and cooking Gambia 4.and another 25 to maintain hygiene. The Mali 8.reality for millions comes nowhere near.

Somalia 8.By contrast the average US citizen uses Mozambique 9.500 litres per day, while the British Uganda 9.average is 200.

Cambodia 9.Tanzania 10.People in rural areas are four times more Progress likely than those in cities to have no safe Viewed in percentage terms both water supply of water. The urban poor are less supply and sanitation provision have likely than the well-off to be connected to improved in the last decade.

mains water supplies and pay on average However, the actual number of people in 12 times more per litre. need has barely changed due to the rise in world population.

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