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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

A magnificent Winter Graduation Ceremony
2013-06-27

 

28 June 2013
Photo: Johan Roux

   Winter Graduation video (YouTube)

The way to immortalise a person, is to live by his example. PhD and master's graduates were imbued by the following message from Dr Khotso Mokhele, Chancellor of the University of the Free State (UFS), during the UFS Winter Graduation Ceremony: to follow Nelson Mandela's majestic example is to guarantee that his life was not in vain.

Dr Mokhele honoured the graduates for their achievements "that clearly did not come easy", referring to the sacrifices on their part and the role of their support structures.

He also praised members of the UFS' leadership team who contributed academically to the excellent standards. Prof Teuns Verschoor, former Vice-Rector: Institutional Affairs, and Prof Driekie Hay, Vice-Rector: Academic, were especially mentioned for their role as respectively co-promoter and promoter of two PhD graduates.

A total of 63 doctorates and 414 master's degrees were awarded to graduates from South Africa, Nigeria, Lesotho, Uganda and Zimbabwe on Thursday 27 June 2013.

On the previous day, the School of Open Learning kicked off the graduation event by conferring 320 qualifications.

The graduates, most of them full-time educators, received qualifications ranging from certificates to diplomas.

"I hope that you will plough back what you have learned and that this qualification will make you a better educator, an inspired one, one that will relentlessly put your efforts into increasing a better future for our children," Prof Hay said, highlighting challenges in South Africa's education system.

"Become enthused, obsessed and passionate to change the education system. Be the change agent in your schools to contribute in giving the quality education our children so desperately need," she said.

An exceptional moment at this year's graduation ceremony was when the two daughters of an academic, Prof Dave Lubbe of the Centre for Accounting, obtained their master's degrees. "It is indeed a highlight in my career that my daughters received their master's degrees cum laude at the same graduation ceremony, under my supervision!"

Prof Lubbe's two daughters, Nandi Lubbe and Leandi Steenkamp, both received their MCom with distinctions in Accounting. They completed their degrees under the supervision of Prof Lubbe and Nandi also won the Dean's medal as the best M student in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences.

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