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Back to the drawing board to save water
We’ve managed to damage nature’s ‘filter’ with air, ocean, and soil pollution, and by destroying wetlands.

Dr Cindé Greyling, a University of the Free State (UFS) DiMTEC (Disaster Management Training and Education Centre for Africa) alumni, studied drought mitigation with a strong focus on communicating important water-saving information. 

Can we run out of water?
Yes, and no, says Dr Greyling. “To our knowledge, water is not ‘leaking’ through our atmosphere. We have what we have, but that doesn’t mean we will have enough clean, fresh water forever. Nature has a magnificent way of purifying water through the water cycle. We, on the other hand, must use a lot of money and energy to purify water. Also, we’ve managed to damage nature’s ‘filter’ with air, ocean, and soil pollution, and by destroying wetlands. The other problem is a simple supply and demand scenario. More people will need more water, but not only that, population growth calls for industry development and increased food supplies – all of which require more water.”    

A war over water
Besides some Hollywood impressions, it is difficult to imagine a war over water, but it is possible. “Some experts are convinced that we are heading there, and others claim that such tensions already exist. Personally, I don’t favour these kinds of shock tactics (or truths) – social research has shown us that it rarely leads to behavioural changes. We can learn a lot from what was has been done in Cape Town. Although we all think people were bombarded with ‘Day-Zero’-scares, they were actually encouraged to adapt their behaviour with a communication campaign that hardly ever used the term ‘Day-Zero’. This approach mobilised citizens to reach record lows of water usage.” 

Adapt a new normal
Dr Greyling encourages the “new normal” set in motion by Capetonians. “Water consciousness is needed, even when the rain comes again. We’ve taken water for granted for too long. As consumers, we have the power to turn this situation around – drop for drop. Be aware about the amount of water you use, how you use it, and for what. Keep in mind that any wastage and pollution (of ‘dry’ things) also wastes and pollutes water. Generally, we need to behave better regarding consumption.”  

News Archive

UFS Council approves Moshoeshoe memorial lecture
2004-11-29

The Council of the University of the Free State (UFS) approved the implementation of a Moshoeshoe memorial lecture as from next year.

“This initiative forms part of the bigger Moshoeshoe project to honour the Moshoeshoe legacy of nation-building and reconciliation and to explore his role as a model of African leadership. The project was launched in April 2004 as part of the UFS centenary celebrations. One element of the project was the production of a documentary film, commissioned by the UFS, which was broadcast on SABC2,” says Prof Frederick Fourie, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS.

“The Moshoeshoe project, which honours the founder of the Basotho nation’s example of nation-building and reconciliation, is a practical demonstration of the university’s commitment to the continued transformation of the campus and the creation of a new inclusive institutional culture for all staff and students,” says Prof Fourie.

According to Prof Fourie the memorial lecture will have a conscious continental focus with speakers from South Africa, Africa and the African diaspora.

“The high-level lectures will raise critical issues about models of African leadership for the African Renaissance and will contribute to the discourse on nation-building, reconciliation, political tolerance, diversity management etc,” says Prof Fourie.

The first Moshoeshoe memorial lecture is likely to take place in March 2005 on the anniversary of his death.

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 November 2004

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