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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

Spring Graduation
2011-09-12

 

Our university will be awarding altogether 91 diplomas/certificates and 624 degrees during the Spring Graduation Ceremony on 14 and 15 September 2011. Of these, 23 doctorates and two honorary doctorates will also be awarded.

As with this year’s Autumn Graduation Ceremony, we will be making the ceremony more accessible to students and the public. Two appearances, in particular, can be looked forward to on this occasion: a national concert pianist in Grade 12 from Voortrekker High School in Bethlehem, Caryn Reed, and a continental debating champion and second-year student in our Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, Sibusiso Tshabalala, as guest speaker.
 
All the master’s and doctoral degrees of the various faculties will once again be awarded during one ceremony on 15 September 2011.
 
Prof. Robert Frater, Emeritus Professor in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, and Emeritus Professor of Paediatrics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Centre, New York, will be receiving an honorary doctorate in Medical Science. As a teacher and trainer, Prof. Frater has influenced many surgeons in his training role in the wards, operating room and intensive care facility. Dr Akilagpa Sawyerr, an academic from Ghana, will be receiving an honorary doctorate in Education for groundbreaking work done on the African continent. Dr Sawyerr, who is a member of our International Advisory Council, has visiting appointments at prestigious universities, such as the famous Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He also has visiting status at the Harvard Law School and the Yale Law School.
 
The full programme for the various ceremonies is:
  • Wednesday, 14 September 2011:
At 10:15, the degrees will be awarded to students of the Faculties of Humanities, Education, Law and Theology. Diplomas/certificates up until honours degrees will be awarded. This excludes the Certificate in Education, National Professional Diploma in Education and the Advanced Education Certificate.
 
At 15:15, degrees will be awarded to students in the Faculties of Economic and Management Sciences and Natural- and Agricultural Sciences and Health Sciences. Diplomas/Certificates up until honours degrees will be awarded.
  •  Thursday, 15 September 2011:
At 10:15, a total of 125 master’s and doctoral degrees plus two honorary doctorates will be awarded by all the faculties in a joint ceremony.
 
The Chancellor’s Dinner will also take place on the same day.

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