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26 March 2018 Photo Pixabay
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

Appeal Court Judge delivers inaugural lecture at the UFS
2009-09-16

 
Judge of Appeal, Belinda (BJ) van Heerden an expert on child and family law, recently delivered her inaugural lecture as Professor Extraordinary in the Department of Criminal and Medical Law in the Faculty of Law at the University of the Free State (UFS). With the topic Chicken soup Jurisprudence: Implementing children’s rights in South Africa she focused, amongst others, on the history of the implementation of children’s rights in South Africa. The picture of today is a whole lot different than that of twenty years ago. “We have invested in our children, we have begun to treat them as worthy citizens,” she said. According to her, children’s rights is one of the best success stories of our South African democracy so far. At the occasion were, from the left, front: Prof. Hennie Oosthuizen, Head of the Department of Criminal and Medical Law at the UFS; back: Judge Van Heerden, Prof. Driekie Hay, Vice Rector: Academic Planning at the UFS; and Dr Neels Swanepoel of the Department of Law of Procedure and Law of Evidence at the UFS.
Photo: Stephen Collett

Attached also please find the complete lecture.

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