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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 visits Namibian schools
2012-06-27

The Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Free State, Prof. Jonathan Jansen, will leave for Namibia shortly to visit several secondary schools in the country and to speak to students.

The visit will be from Monday 25 June to Friday 29 June 2012.

A group of other staff members from the UFS, including Mr Rudi Buys, Dean: Student Affairs, Prof. Lucius Botes, Dean of the Faculty of the Humanities and Prof. Neil Heideman of the UFS’ Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, will also be part of the visit.

Prof. Jansen’s visit to schools in Walvis Bay, Swakopmund, Windhoek and Rehoboth is aimed at reaching out to potential UFS students in Namibia.
Prof. Jansen’s visits to schools since 2010 were very successful and he decided to expand his visits to schools with other ambassadors of the UFS to Namibia.

There are currently a large number of Namibian students at the UFS and the UFS also boasts a significant Namibian Kovsie alumni.

During the UFS’ five-day-visit to Namibia, the group will visit the Walvis Bay Private High School, Namib High School, the High Schools of Jan Mohr, Dr Lemmer, M&k Gertze, Windhoek Gimnasium, MH Greeff, Technical High School as well as Windhoek High School.

On Wednesday 27 June, Prof. Jansen will address ex-Kovsies at an alumni reunion in Windhoek.

On Thursday 28 June, Prof. Jansen will speak to approximately 600 learners at the Davin Trust sports event and on Friday 29 June he will address about 150 business people at a business breakfast in Windhoek.
 

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