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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

Strategic Plan for 2012-2016 launched
2012-06-07

Strategic Plan: 2012 - 2016

 
Message from Prof. Jonathan D. Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector (video clip)


University of the Free State: Strategic Plan for 2012 - 2016 (pdf format)

Vision
A university recognised across the world for excellence in academic achievement and in human reconciliation.

Mission
The university will pursue this vision through its mission:

  • Setting the highest standards for undergraduate and postgraduate education.
  • Recruiting the best and most diverse students and professors into the university.
  • Advancing excellence in the scholarship of research, teaching and public service.
  • Demonstrating in everyday practice the value of human togetherness and solidarity across social and historical divides.
  • Advancing social justice by creating multiple opportunities for disadvantaged students to access the university.
  • Promoting innovation, distinctiveness and leadership in both academic and human pursuits.
  • Establishing transparent opportunities for lifelong learning for academic and support staff.

Values
The following five core values represent deeply-held commitments that inform every policy and steer every action. These values underpin both the Academic Project and the Human Project of this university.

  • Superior Scholarship
  • Human Embrace
  • Institutional Distinctiveness
  • Emergent Leadership
  • Public Service

Motto
IN VERITATE SAPIENTIAE LUX
(In Truth is the Light of Wisdom)

 

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