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This is my IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of water, specifically fresh water, from the real IELTS exam.

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IELTS Discuss both Sides Questions

Dave

IELTS Essay: Water

Some people think that the government should strictly control the supply of fresh water, as it is a limited resource, while others it should not be regulated.

Discuss both sides and give your opinion.

Many believe that it is crucial for governments to oversee public supplies of fresh water. In my opinion, this is an advisable strategy though there are natural risks that must be taken into consideration.

The most significant drawbacks to this proposal are the possibilities of government malfeasance and incompetence. Governments are notoriously bureaucratic organizations that often waste time and money while not greatly furthering the interests of the general public. A pertinent example of this would be the lengthy litigation battles concerning the cleanup of polluted reservoirs in many democratic nations. By the time any progress is made, the harm for some residents may already be irreversible. There is the chance that the government is corrupt. It is common for both elected and unelected officials to be vulnerable to bribery that results in prioritizing corporate and private interests above average citizens.

Nonetheless, government control of fresh water supplies is the best guarantee of public safety. Today, in many arid nations, such as those near Sub-Saharan Africa, finding fresh water is a massive challenge. Conflicts over limited water resources often contribute to political instability. In an ideal world, a just government could ensure water is equally and fairly distributed. Moreover, there are potential safety concerns. Water can easily be contaminated by industrial factors including rainwater pollution, landfill seepage, and new procedures like fracking. If governments regulate water with disinterested autonomy, they will be able to protect the general public from the excesses of corporate recklessness.

In conclusion, despite the potential that governments will poorly manage water supplies, they are still the best protectors of public health and safety. This is why the supervision of water authorities is also key.

Analysis

1. Many believe that it is crucial for governments to oversee public supplies of fresh water. 2. In my opinion, this is an advisable strategy though there are natural risks that must be taken into consideration.

  1. Paraphrase the overall essay topic.
  2. Write a clear opinion. Read more about introductions here.

1. The most significant drawbacks to this proposal are the possibilities of government malfeasance and incompetence. 2. Governments are notoriously bureaucratic organizations that often waste time and money while not greatly furthering the interests of the general public. 3. A pertinent example of this would be the lengthy litigation battles concerning the cleanup of polluted reservoirs in many democratic nations. 4. By the time any progress is made, the harm for some residents may already be irreversible. 5. There is the chance that the government is corrupt. 6. It is common for both elected and unelected officials to be vulnerable to bribery that results in prioritizing corporate and private interests above average citizens.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Develop it with specific or hypothetical examples.
  4. Keep developing it fully.
  5. Include some short sentences.
  6. Finish development.

1. Nonetheless, government control of fresh water supplies is the best guarantee of public safety. 2. Today, in many arid nations, such as those near Sub-Saharan Africa, finding fresh water is a massive challenge. 3. Conflicts over limited water resources often contribute to political instability. 4. In an ideal world, a just government could ensure water is equally and fairly distributed. 5. Moreover, there are potential safety concerns. 6. Water can easily be contaminated by industrial factors including rainwater pollution, landfill seepage, and new procedures like fracking. 7. If governments regulate water with disinterested autonomy, they will be able to protect the general public from the excesses of corporate recklessness.

  1. Write a new topic sentence with a new main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your new main idea.
  3. Include specific details and examples.
  4. Add as much information as you can and make sure it links logically.
  5. Develop the example fully.
  6. This paragraph can be longer than the other one.
  7. Be sure each idea has support.

1. In conclusion, despite the potential that governments will poorly manage water supplies, they are still the best protectors of public health and safety. 2. This is why the supervision of water authorities is also key.

  1. Summarise your main ideas.
  2. Include a final thought. Read more about conclusions here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean? Make some notes on paper to aid memory and then check below.

Many believe that it is crucial for governments to oversee public supplies of fresh water. In my opinion, this is an advisable strategy though there are natural risks that must be taken into consideration.

The most significant drawbacks to this proposal are the possibilities of government malfeasance and incompetence. Governments are notoriously bureaucratic organizations that often waste time and money while not greatly furthering the interests of the general public. A pertinent example of this would be the lengthy litigation battles concerning the cleanup of polluted reservoirs in many democratic nations. By the time any progress is made, the harm for some residents may already be irreversible. There is the chance that the government is corrupt. It is common for both elected and unelected officials to be vulnerable to bribery that results in prioritizing corporate and private interests above average citizens.

Nonetheless, government control of fresh water supplies is the best guarantee of public safety. Today, in many arid nations, such as those near Sub-Saharan Africa, finding fresh water is a massive challenge. Conflicts over limited water resources often contribute to political instability. In an ideal world, a just government could ensure water is equally and fairly distributed. Moreover, there are potential safety concerns. Water can easily be contaminated by industrial factors including rainwater pollution, landfill seepage, and new procedures like fracking. If governments regulate water with disinterested autonomy, they will be able to protect the general public from the excesses of corporate recklessness.

In conclusion, despite the potential that governments will poorly manage water supplies, they are still the best protectors of public health and safety. This is why the supervision of water authorities is also key.

Answers

For extra practice, write an antonym (opposite word) on a piece of paper to help you remember the new vocabulary:

crucial really important

oversee watch over, control

public supplies what is available to all

fresh water not salt water

advisable strategy good idea

though nonetheless

natural risks organic threats

taken into consideration thought about

most significant drawbacks biggest problems

proposal idea

possibilities chances

malfeasance bad behavior

incompetence not good at what they do

notoriously bureaucratic organizations lots of red tape, inefficient

while although

greatly furthering the interests of the general public helping people a lot

pertinent example relevant instance

lengthy litigation battles long legal fights

concerning relatint to

cleanup fixing

polluted reservoirs dirty sources of water

democratic nations countries that have democracy

progress making changes

harm hurting

residents people living there

irreversible can’t be fixed

corrupt dishonest

elected voted into office

unelected officials people not voted into office

vulnerable weak

bribery money given in exchange for favors

results in the outcome is

prioritizing making important

corporate related to business

private interests for individuals, companies

above average citizens more important than most people

nonetheless regardless

control power over

best guarantee greatest safeguard

public safety health of most people

arid nations dry places

Sub-Saharan Africa countries near a dessert in Africa

massive challenge big obstacle

conflicts fights

limited water resources not enough water

contributes to adds to

political instability problems in government, unstable

in an ideal world in the perfect world

just right, fair

ensure make sure of

equally the same treatment

fairly distributed equal

potential safety concerns possible problems related to how safe people are

contaminated infiltrated, polluted

industrial factors related to industry

rainwater pollution acid rain

landfill seepage sewage from trash buried in the ground

procedures methods

fracking a way of extracting oil

regulate control

disinterested autonomy not biased power

protect keep safe

general public citizens

excesses recklessness

corporate recklessness companies doing crazy things

despite regardless of

potential possible

poorly manage hard to handle

best protectors people who can keep the most safe

public health safety of most people

supervision watching over

water authorities people in charge of water

key crucial

Pronunciation

Practice saying the vocabulary below and use this tip about Google voice search:

ˈkruːʃəl 
ˌəʊvəˈsiː 
ˈpʌblɪk səˈplaɪz 
frɛʃ ˈwɔːtə
ədˈvaɪzəbl ˈstrætɪʤi 
ðəʊ 
ˈnæʧrəl rɪsks 
ˈteɪkən ˈɪntuː kənˌsɪdəˈreɪʃən
məʊst sɪgˈnɪfɪkənt ˈdrɔːbæks 
prəˈpəʊzəl 
ˌpɒsəˈbɪlɪtiz 
mælˈfiːzəns 
ɪnˈkɒmpɪtəns
nəʊˈtɔːrɪəsli ˌbjʊərəʊˈkrætɪk ˌɔːgənaɪˈzeɪʃənz 
waɪl 
ˈgreɪtli ˈfɜːðərɪŋ ði ˈɪntrɪsts ɒv ðə ˈʤɛnərəl ˈpʌblɪk
ˈpɜːtɪnənt ɪgˈzɑːmpl 
ˈlɛŋθi ˌlɪtɪˈgeɪʃən ˈbætlz 
kənˈsɜːnɪŋ 
ˈkliːnʌp 
pəˈluːtɪd ˈrɛzəvwɑːz 
ˌdɛməˈkrætɪk ˈneɪʃənz
ˈprəʊgrəs 
hɑːm 
ˈrɛzɪdənts 
ˌɪrɪˈvɜːsəbl
kəˈrʌpt 
ɪˈlɛktɪd 
ˌʌnɪˈlɛktɪd əˈfɪʃəlz 
ˈvʌlnərəbl 
ˈbraɪbəri 
rɪˈzʌlts ɪn 
praɪˈɒrɪˌtaɪzɪŋ 
ˈkɔːpərɪt 
ˈpraɪvɪt ˈɪntrɪsts 
əˈbʌv ˈævərɪʤ ˈsɪtɪznz
ˌnʌnðəˈlɛs 
kənˈtrəʊl 
bɛst ˌgærənˈtiː 
ˈpʌblɪk ˈseɪfti
ˈærɪd ˈneɪʃənz 
sʌb-səˈhɑːrən ˈæfrɪkə
ˈmæsɪv ˈʧælɪnʤ
ˈkɒnflɪkts 
ˈlɪmɪtɪd ˈwɔːtə rɪˈsɔːsɪz 
kənˈtrɪbju(ː)ts tuː 
pəˈlɪtɪkəl ˌɪnstəˈbɪlɪti
ɪn ən aɪˈdɪəl wɜːld 
ʤʌst 
ɪnˈʃʊə 
ˈiːkwəli 
ˈfeəli dɪsˈtrɪbju(ː)tɪd
pəʊˈtɛnʃəl ˈseɪfti kənˈsɜːnz
kənˈtæmɪneɪtɪd 
ɪnˈdʌstrɪəl ˈfæktəz 
ˈreɪnˌwɔːtə pəˈluːʃən
ˈlændfɪl ˈsiːpɪʤ 
prəˈsiːʤəz 
frækiŋ
ˈrɛgjʊleɪt 
dɪsˈɪntrɪstɪd ɔːˈtɒnəmi
prəˈtɛkt 
ˈʤɛnərəl ˈpʌblɪk 
ɪkˈsɛsɪz 
ˈkɔːpərɪt ˈrɛklɪsnəs
dɪsˈpaɪt 
pəʊˈtɛnʃəl 
ˈpʊəli ˈmænɪʤ 
bɛst prəˈtɛktəz 
ˈpʌblɪk hɛlθ 
ˌsjuːpəˈvɪʒən 
ˈwɔːtər ɔːˈθɒrɪtiz 
kiː

Vocabulary Practice

I recommend getting a pencil and piece of paper because that aids memory. Then write down the missing vocabulary from my sample answer in your notebook:

Many believe that it is c_______l for governments to o________e p_______________s of f_____________r. In my opinion, this is an a________________y t__________h there are n___________s that must be t________________________n.

The m_______________________s to this p________l are the p_____________s of government m___________e and i____________e. Governments are n_____________________________s that often waste time and money w_____e not g_______________________________________________c. A p________________e of this would be the l________________________________g the c___________p of p_____________s in many d_________________s. By the time any p______________s is made, the h_____m for some r____________s may already be i______________e. There is the chance that the government is c______t. It is common for both e_______d and u___________________s to be v_____________e to b________y that r______________n p____________g c____________e and p________________s a_____________________s.

N_____________s, government c_________l of fresh water supplies is the b_______________e of p_________________y. Today, in many a______________s, such as those near S___________________a, finding fresh water is a m___________________e. C__________s over l________________________s often c_______________________y. I________________d, a j____t government could e______e water is e________y and f____________________d. Moreover, there are p______________________s. Water can easily be c_________________d by i______________________s including r__________________n, l_______________e, and new p___________s like f_________g. If governments r_________e water with d_______________________y, they will be able to p_________t the g_________________c from the e____________s of c_________________________s.

In conclusion, d__________e the p________l that governments will p________________e water supplies, they are still the b_______________s of p______________h and safety. This is why the s___________n of w________________s is also k__y.

Listening Practice

Learn more about this topic by watching from YouTube below and practice with these activities:

Reading Practice

Read more about this topic and use these ideas to practice:

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/jan/08/water-wars-early-warning-tool-uses-climate-data-to-predict-conflict-hotspots

Speaking Practice

Practice with the following speaking questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Coffee

  1. Do you prefer to drink coffee or tea?
  2. How do you like to drink coffee?
  3. Is coffee a popular drink in your country?
  4. When was the last time you had some coffee?

Writing Practice

Practice with the related IELTS essay topic below:

The amount of drinkable water for people is decreasing.

Why is this?

What can be done?


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