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20 July 2018 Photo Leonie Bolleurs
Research informs about sustainable use of fresh water for food production
Conducting research on the topic of water-footprint assessment, are from the left: Dr Enoch Owusu-Sekyere, Dr Henry Jordaan, study leader and Senior Lecturer in the UFS Department of Agricultural Economics, Dr Frikkie Maré (Head of the Department of Agricultural Economics), and Adetoso Adetoro.

The fact that South Africa is a water-scarce country has been highlighted during the past couple of years, and even city dwellers were suddenly very aware of the drought due to the strict water restrictions. These are the words of Dr Frikkie Maré, Head of the Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of the Free State (UFS) and one of the graduates who received his PhD on water-footprint assessment studies at the recent June 2018 graduations.

The department is currently involved in various water-footprint and water-management research projects which assist in providing solutions for better water management in the future. “As department, we want to be at the forefront of research that will assist all agricultural producers with sustainable production practices to ensure economic, environmental, and social sustainable food and fibre products for the society at large,” said Dr Maré.

Research funded by Water Research Commission

The UFS recently conferred two PhD degrees (Drs Enoch Owusu-Sekyere and Frikkie Maré) and one master’s degree (Adetoso Adetoro) in the Department of Agricultural Economics. All three have been working in the field of water-footprint assessment. The research formed part of two different projects that were initiated and funded by the Water Research Commission.

According to Dr Henry Jordaan, Senior Lecturer in this department, four of his students already received their master’s degrees on the topic of water-footprint assessment, while two students are busy with PhDs and three more are working on their master’s degrees.

Topic gains momentum in research community
The water-footprint concept serves as a useful indicator to sensitise society about the impact of the food we eat on scarce freshwater resources – from agricultural producers using water to produce primary food crops and products on the farm, to the end consumer buying the food products in the retail store in town.

“Water-footprint assessment is a relatively new field aimed at informing the sustainable use of fresh water for food production. This topic is gaining momentum in the research community, given the substantial increase in the global population in the context of freshwater resources that is getting increasingly scarce. The challenge is to feed the growing population while still using the scarce freshwater resources sustainably.

Volume of water used to produce food

“In order to inform water users on how to use the resource sustainably, it is important to know the volume of water that was used to produce the required food products. Through our research, we are contributing to this knowledge by assessing the volume of water that was used to produce selected products, and to interpret the water use in the context of water availability to gain insight into the degree of sustainability with which the resource is used. The results are expected to inform water users, water managers, and policy makers regarding the sustainable use of fresh water for food production,” said Dr Jordaan.

News Archive

Albert Einstein “visits” Bloemfontein
2005-08-30

 

 

Albert Einstein, performed by David Muller, and Dr Matie Hoffman, senior lecturer from the Department of Physics at the UFS and coordinator of educational activities at the UFS Boyden Observatory.  They are standing at the 1,5m Boyden telescope.


Visitors to the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Boyden Observatory had a special treat on Saturday 27 August 2005 when they were “Albert Einstein”, alias David Muller (Albert Einstein in Imagining Einstein) paid them a surprise visit.

The Department of Science and Technology is sponsoring a one-man play called Imagining Einstein.  The play, written and performed by David Muller, is produced through the MTN Science Centre and forms part of the celebration of the World Year of Physics.  The play’s visit to Bloemfontein was kicked off by Saturday evening’s performance at the UFS Boyden Observatory.

It follows the life of Einstein, from his patent office in Switzerland, through his office in Berlin to his position at Princeton where he spent the last 20 years of his life and captures the research, studies and thinking with all its depth and insights of a man who not only changed the thinking about physics but also had much fun doing so.

The play will be presented on Tuesday 30 August 2005 and Wednesday 31 August 2005 at 10:00 and 19:00 in the Albert Wessels Auditorium on the UFS campus.  Entrance is free of charge.  For bookings, please contact (051) 401 2561.

On Thursday 1 September 2005 the play will be presented at 10:00 and 19:00 at the Sterrewag Theatre on Naval Hill.  Tickets are R10 per person for the 10:00 show and R30 per person for the 19:00 show and are available from PACOFS booking offices or by calling (051) 447 7772.   

Media release
Issued by:  Lacea Loader
   Media Representative
   Tel:  (051) 401-2584
   Cell:  083 645 2454
   E-mail:  loaderl.stg@mail.uovs.ac.za
29 August 2005
 

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