C 2 · C1 · Listening · Natural world & environment · speaking · Vocabulary

C1/C2 Listening TED Talks Are we running out of clean water?

Despite water covering 71% of the planet’s surface, more than half the world’s population endures extreme water scarcity for at least one month a year. Current estimates predict that by 2040, up to 20 more countries could be experiencing water shortages. These statistics raise a startling question: is the Earth running out of clean water? Balsher Singh Sidhu takes a closer look at water consumption. (introduction text from TED Talks)

Here you will find three topic-based activities on the issue of water. The fist activity is a quick pre-listening quiz on some of the vocabulary that you will hear in a video. The second button below is for the video. After watching the video you may want to discuss some questions so I’ll find five, hopefully, thought-provoking ones at the end of the post.

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This is a pre-listening test to help you cope with the content of the video. Watch and select the best option.


  1. The term 'scarcity' is synonym to...

2. Which is the best description for the word aquifer?

Where is the stress sound in the word aquifer? The capital letters are the stressed syllables.

4. A verb that is mentioned in the video that means drinking and eating something quickly in large quantities.

5. The verb 'deplete' means...

6. What is the meaning of reservoirs in the video?

7. What is the meaning of the verb 'drain'? 

8. The term 'livestock' belongs to the area of ... 

9. The expression 'following suit' means... 

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Created on By blogdeserena


You are going to watch a video from TED Talks. Listen twice and mark if the statements are true or false.



1)Nearly one third of planet earth suffers from a lack of water.

2) It is believed that by 2040 twenty more countries will have water scarcity.

Over two thirds of the planet’s drinking water is in the form of ice.

One of the reasons that water is not made available to some regions is due to that it is too expensive

Twenty of the planet’s 37 underwater reservoirs are already empty.

Humanity will suffer water scarcity due to the fact that the planet loses water.

More water is consumed by factories that in the household.

Agriculture consumes a 37 per cent of the world’s water.

Many farmers are currently using modern farming techniques in order to save water. 

The farming industry has laid the basis for others to reduce and recycle water. 

 Humanity’s water footprint could be reduced by consuming fewer vegetables. 

Speaking practice

  • Does your country suffer from water shortage, and if not, do you believe this will be a problem in the coming future?
  • Does your government invest in sustainable water usage? If so, how?
  • What types of things do you do in order to reduce your water footprint?
  • How do different economic sections cope with the issue of global warming and water shortage in your country?
  • What parts of the world are the most vulnerable to water scarcity?

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