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Critical Reasoning: Investigation Questions

Factory Y is greatly dependent upon high-quality water for the natural beverages that it produces. To reduce its dependency on Company Z, a supplier of pure spring water, Factory Y has developed a filtration station which, although awaiting final official approval, can produce high-quality water at a rate high enough to keep all three of its juice manufacturing lines running properly. Once the filtration station is approved, Factory Y will never again be in need of the water supplied by Company Z. 

Which of the following would it be most useful to establish in order to evaluate the argument?

Incorrect.

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This question is irrelevant to the argument. The author's conclusion relates to what would happen should the filtration station be approved - it does not say that the station will be approved. Therefore, any information around the approval of this station cannot help us.

Incorrect.

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Answering this question would not really get us any closer to deciding about the validity of the argument. For all we know, Factory Y's profits could already be higher than Company Z's. Or maybe they have been for the past 30 years, and last year were lower. The conclusion focuses on the dependency of Y on Z, not a financial comparison of these companies.

Incorrect.

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This question would be unnecessary to ask. We are already told in the premises that the water produced by Factory Y is of high-quality. Therefore, it already qualifies for use in the juices. No further testing or comparison of the water is really needed.

Incorrect.

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This question asks for information that is beyond the scope of the argument. The relationship discussed in the argument is between Y and Z so details about the competitors of Y are beside the point.

Bravo!

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The conclusion is a prediction based on a current situation. If we knew about any changes to this current situation, we could more accurately determine whether the prediction is logical:

If the demand for Factory Y's juice is constant, but not on the rise, then it makes sense that it will never need Company Z's help since it has its own water station. However, if the demand for Factory Y's juice is increasing, then it is likely that it will want to add more manufacturing lines, and need more water than what the station can provide. Consequently, it may need Company Z once again.

Does the filtration station have to be approved by Factory Y's management or by a government authority?
Is the demand for Factory Y's juice, and consequently the need for additional manufacturing lines, on the rise?
Will the profits created by Factory Y, at some point in the future, exceed those created by Company Z ?
Is the quality of the water supplied by Company Z higher or lower than that produced by Factory Y's station?
Is the water supplied by Company Z also used by the competitors of Factory Y?