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 smile22
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#14335
I realize that this is a strengthen question. Could you please explain how answer C strengthens the argument?
 Steve Stein
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#14336
Hi Smile,

That's a good question.The author says that the town's frequent water emergencies could be avoided if they would give people incentive to conserve. The author says that conservation is discouraged by current policies, which charge a flat rate up to a certain point; beyond that point, people are charged a substantial, per-liter rate (in that case, if the threshold were very high, people could use as much as they wanted without worrying about extra fees).

The question asks for the answer choice that most strengthens the author's argument. Answer choice (C) provides that the threshold is higher than most people's requirements. This strengthens the author's argument that currently, there is no incentive to conserve—people can use as much as they need, or more, without passing the threshold and getting charged extra fees. (if, on the other hand, the threshold were below the level of most people's needs, then the substantial additional fees would provide an incentive to start conserving water).

Tough question--please let me know whether this is clear--thanks!

~Steve
 smile22
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#14339
Hi Steve,

Thank you for the explanation. So, basically I want to strengthen the fact that Springhill's current system does not promote water conservation? So, D strengthens that fact by saying that Springhill does not promote conservation because the threshold that they enforce to society exceeds people's actual needs? If Springhill did encourage conservation, then the threshold would be below people's actual needs. This would therefore weaken the fact that Springhill discourages water conservation, right?

Thanks in advance for your help.
 Steve Stein
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#14343
Hi smile,

You got it--if they set the threshold lower, then people would have to consider how much water they really needed to use, and whether cutting back could avoid or eliminate extra fees. As you said, a high threshold allows people to use as much as they like to use without extra fees.

Nice work!

~Steve
 smile22
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#14344
Thanks so much for your help!
 caroline222
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#83391
I am struggling to identify what the conclusion of this argument is. I thought it was that the water emergencies could be avoided if Springhill would introduce permanent economic incentives for conservation. But it seems like the answer choices are tailored to the last sentence, which is implying that they could use the per-liter rate as an economic disincentive to go over the threshold. I thought for strengthen questions we were supposed to focus on strengthening the connection between the premises and the conclusion, but I am kind of lost as to how that is happening in this question.
 Adam Tyson
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#83535
You're absolutely right about the main conclusion in this stimulus, caroline222 - it is the second sentence. But there is an intermediate conclusion as well, which is the claim that the current scheme discourages conservation, and if we can strengthen that intermediate conclusion it would help strengthen the main one. To strengthen the intermediate conclusion we need to focus on the evidence that supposedly supports it, which is about the threshold. If the threshold is low enough to encourage conservation, the whole argument falls apart, so we strengthen the argument by saying that is is not low enough to do so. Answer C does that for us.
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 bonnie_a
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#87978
I'm having trouble identifying the main conclusion of this argument. I first thought the first sentence of the text was the main conclusion (and the rest supporting why the town must declare a water emergency). From my understanding, this is how the argument proceeds: the town must declare a water emergency because the town actually discourages water conservation. Can someone help me where I got it wrong? Thank you.
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 Ryan Twomey
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#88007
Hey Bonnie,

I would say the main conclusion of the argument is that "Springfield's policy discourages conservation."

What comes after because is evidence. Because is a premise indicator so do not include what comes after because in your discussion of the conclusion.

This is a very strange stimulus with multiple conclusions, but the only conclusion with any evidence supporting it is the one I described above, so that is what I would say is our main conclusion.

Once you see that our main conclusion is that the policy discourages conservation and our evidence is that the substantial fee is only assessed after the threshold is reached, we can say that our assumption is that the threshold is not encouraging conservation.

Answer choice C strengthens that assumption by making the threshold very high and having few households reaching that threshold.

I hope all this helps, and I wish you all of the luck in your studies.

Best,
Ryan

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