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Sample Reading Test


Reading test: 30 minutes


Please read all of the following article and then insert one suitable word into each gap. (You are not expected to know the word that has been taken out.)




Blue gold: Earth’s liquid asset

Water will become the most pressing environmental issue of this century reveals John Vidal.


Some 1.2 billion people lack access to clean water, twice that number have no sanitation, and most of the world will not have enough water within 30 years. This combination of scarcity and bad management _______ food supplies, health, education, nature and economic ________ . It means women spend long periods collecting ________ , families spend up to half their daily ________ on it, farmers lose their land, and ________ die.


Global consumption of freshwater is doubling ________ 20 years and new sources are becoming _________ and more expensive to develop and treat. ________ 1996, says the UN, humanity used about 54% ________ all the accessible freshwater contained in rivers, lakes _________ underground aquifers. This is conservatively projected to ________ to at least 70% by 2025, reflecting ________ growth alone, and by much more if ________ capita consumption rises at its current ________.


Twenty six countries suffered serious water scarcity ________ 1990: at the rate the world is ________ and population growing that is expected to ________ to 65 countries in 20 years’ time, ________ which time two in every three people ________ be living in areas of severe water ________.


Water, says the UN, will inevitably become ________ most pressing environmental and development issue this ________. Most of Africa, the Middle East, south Asia, ________ western United States, South America, China and ________ all of Australia are already in trouble. ________ the burgeoning slums of the developing world, ________ and sanitation problems are now acute. Up ________ three million people die each year of _________ preventable water-borne diseases.


Some 70% of all ________ the world’s fresh water used by man goes ________ grow food, and in parts of ________ US, North Africa and Asia, farmers can ________ up to 95%. Unavoidable population increases in ________ next 20 years will mean that agriculture ________ need at least 17% more water ________ it does now just to grow the ________ these people will need.


The only ________ that many countries have is to privatise supplies and leave it to large northern ________ to manage - a politically and culturally contentious route to ________ in countries where people use little and ________ long believed that water is not a _________ from which anyone should profit.