Questions 1-11 refer to the following information.
The Dirt on Growing Plants Without Soil
With an average annual increase of approximately 83 million people, the current global population of over 7.5 billion represents a severe strain on the finite resources available on the planet. According to Jacques 1 Diouf, former Director-General of the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization, by 2050, the world will need to produce 70% more food to feed the additional 2.3 billion people expected by that year. And yet, this increase in food production could come at a great cost: conventional agriculture is one of the top contributors to water scarcity. One solution to this 2 more or less important issue is hydroponics, a method of growing plants without the use of soil.
Hydroponic systems use up to 10 times less water than conventional methods. When crops are planted in fields, the water 3 of the plants runs off into the environment, whereas in hydroponic systems, the water is captured and used again. Hydroponic systems come in several varieties, including ones in which the plant roots are submerged in nutrient-filled water and others in which a wick or pump provides water to the roots. 4
 In addition to being stingy with water, hydroponic systems provide other benefits.  These systems use space more efficiently than do crop fields, so they can produce more fruits and vegetables per square foot and can even be built in cities.  Furthermore, indoor hydroponic systems can be used in almost any climate to grow plants year-round, which enhances access to fresh, local produce for people living in colder climates.  An added bonus is that since 5 there grown without soil, these plants are more visually appealing.  This reduces the environmental impact of transporting fruits and vegetables across the country from warmer regions. 6
Although a few companies have had success producing and marketing hydroponic foods, the method still accounts for only a small part of American produce. Even though these systems 7 used less space, that space is more expensive in cities as compared to the relatively cheap farmland available in rural areas. And because the plants are grown in water with added nutrients instead of soil, some in the organic food industry 8 criticize hydroponics for being "unnatural" and claim that hydroponic produce has an inferior taste as compared to 9 conventional farms. Hydroponic operations can also be more energy intensive, 10 requiring specific types of building materials. Nonetheless, seeing as water scarcity was listed by the World Economic Forum in 2015 as the largest global risk over the next decade, 11 hydroponics farmers will likely fight to maintain the organic status of their produce.