GRE Argument Essay 24
The following appeared in a letter from the owner of the Sunnyside Towers apartment building to its manager.
“One month ago, all the showerheads on the first five floors of Sunnyside Towers were modified to restrict the water flow to approximately 1/3 of its original force. Although actual readings of water usage before and after the adjustment are not yet available, the change will obviously result in a considerable savings for Sunnyside Corporation, since the corporation must pay for water each month. Except for a few complaints about low water pressure, no problems with showers have been reported since the adjustment. Clearly, restricting water flow throughout all the 20 floors of Sunnyside Towers will increase our profits further.”
The given argument concludes that restricting the water flow throughout the 20 floors of Sunnyside Towers will increase the profits for the owner of Sunnyside Towers. The owner draws this conclusion by presenting evidence in support of his claim. He brings out that despite restricting the flow of water to approximately 1/3 of its original force in the first 5 floors of Sunnyside Towers, there have been no major complaints about low water pressure and the functioning of the shower heads. A careful analysis of the given evidence reveals loopholes that weaken the argument to a great extent.
A major loophole in the argument is the fact that the actual readings of water usage before and after the adjustment are not yet available. Therefore, it cannot be assumed that the water usage is less. It is quite probable that the residents are using the same amount of water. After the change, the water pressure has become low but the residents must be using the same amount of water as they did before the change by using water for a longer period of time. Therefore, it would be wrong to assume that the corporation would pay less for water usage until the readings before and after the change are available.
Another obvious flaw in the given argument is that there is no mention of the section of residents who have complained. Moreover, there is no clear indication of the method that was utilized for gathering this information. It could be the result of random complaints or it may have been the result of a survey. If it was a survey, then it is possible that the opinion of all the residents of the first 5 floors have not been taken into account because there is no mention of the exact number of people who have complained. Therefore, one cannot draw a concrete conclusion as statistics related to the exact percentage of residents from the first 5 floors who have complained is not available.
Additionally, the residents may not have complained, but it is likely that they are not happy with the restriction imposed on the water flow. They may complain about the shortcomings of this restriction in the near future. They could even force the corporation to revert to the earlier fittings. This would result in incurring heavy expenses instead of savings. Moreover, it is not necessary that the residents in the remaining 15 floors of Sunnyside Towers will react in a similar manner. Therefore, the assumption that the residents of the remaining 15 floors will not oppose the restriction on water flow is largely flawed.
The given argument fails to convince the reader that restricting the flow of water will indeed result in less water usage thereby saving the amount of money that is paid by the corporation for the usage of water. The argument could have been substantiated by evidence that proved that the water usage has actually reduced after imposing the restriction on water flow. Moreover, lack of sufficient evidence to prove that the residents of the remaining 15 floors will not object to the adjustment of water flow makes the argument sound extremely unconvincing.