Part Ⅳ Reading Comprehension (Reading in Depth) (25 minutes)
Directions:In this section, there is a short passage with 5 questions or incomplete statements. Read the passage carefully. Then answer the questions or complete the statements in the fewest possible words. Please write your answers on Answer Sheet 2.Questions 47 to 51 are based on the following passage.
Population growth will mean over 100 million more people in the United States over the next four decades who will need energy and water to survive.Economic growth compounds that trend, as per-capita energy and water consumption tend to increase with development. Climate-change models also suggest that droughts and heat waves may be more frequent and severe.
Thankfully, there are some solutions.
The government can collect, maintain and make available accurate, updated and comprehensive water data. The Energy Information Administration maintains an extensive database of information on energy production, consumption, trade and price. Unfortunately, there is no equivalent set of data for water. Consequently, investors, analysts and policy makers lack the information they need to make informed decisions about power plant sitting or cooling technologies.
The government should also invest in water-related research and development to seek better aircooling systems for power plants, waterless techniques for hydraulic fracturing (水力压裂), and biofuels that do not require freshwater irrigation.
We should encourage the use of reclaimed water for irrigation, industry and the cooling of equipment at industrial operations. These steps typically spare a significant amount of energy and cost. The use of dry and hybrid (混合) wet-dry cooling towers that require less water should be encouraged at power plants, since not all of them need wet cooling all the time. As power plants upgrade their cooling methods to ones that are less water-intensive, these operations can save significant volumes of Water.
Most important, conservation should be encouraged, since water conservation results in energy conservation, and vice versa.
New carbon emissions standards can also help save water. A plan proposed by the Obama administration would encourage utilities to choose less carbon- and water-intensive fuels. Conventional coal plants, which are very thirsty, exceed the standards proposed by the President. But relatively clean, and water-lean, power plants that use wind, solar panels and natural gas combined cycle, would meet them. Thus, by enforcing CO2 limits, a lot of water use can be avoided.
Because rivers and aquifers (蓄水层) can span many states, because there is no alternative to water, and because water represents a critical vulnerability for our energy system, governments at all levels have a stake in working with industry to find solutions.