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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

Standing ovation for the UFS Camerata in St Petersburg, Russia
2013-11-26

 
Jan Moritz Onken conducting the Camerata during their performance at the 13th International Conservatoire in St Petersburg, Russia.

The OSM CAMERATA (OSMC), flagship ensemble of the University of the Free State’s Odeion School of Music, received a standing ovation during a gala concert at the 13th International Conservatoire Festival presented on 7 November 2013 in the Glazunov Hall under the baton of Maestro Jan Moritz Onken.

The International Conservatory Festival was founded in 2001 by the St Petersburg Rimsky Korsakov Conservatory and has since then become an annual highlight on the concert calendar of St Petersburg.

For the last thirteen years, the festival has developed as a centre of excellence for artists, lecturers, and music experts who represent higher institutions of music from almost every continent. This forum has introduced more than 200 conservatories internationally, and literally produced hundreds of concerts, master’s classes and lectures. Internationally-acclaimed musicians such as Yuri Temirkanov, Rodion Shchedrin, Saulius Sondeckis, Krzysztof Penderecki, Valery Gergiev, Vasily Sinaisky and Semyon Bychkov, as well as young talented performers on the brink of their international careers, have participated in the festival over the years.

The OSMC presented the artistic director of the festival, Prof Lydia Volcheck, with audio-visual material as an audition and received a formal invitation from Prof Mikhail Gantvarg, Rector of the St Petersburg Rimsky Korsakov Conservatoire, in May 2013. Jan Moritz Onken (who was appointed as the OSMC chief conductor and artistic director for 2012) prepared the ensemble with vigour and discipline. Experienced international OSM alumni and several young international professionals served as mentors throughout the year preceding the event.

The OSMC gave two recitals during the festival – a gala performance in the Glazunov Hall, as well as a concert in the St Petersburg White Hall. For the first concert on 7 November (entitled FOUR CONTINENTS FESTIVAL), the OSMC shared the stage with a piano duo from the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music (Katowice, Poland), the String Quartet of the Colburn Conservatory of Music (Los Angeles, USA), as well as an ensemble of Japanese Traditional Instruments from the Tokyo University of the Arts (Japan).

After the last reverberating notes of the performance of the Phantom Waltz (a work commissioned by the OSM from the South African composer Hendrik Hofmeyr), a thunderous applause and shouts of bravo exploded! The OSMC responded spontaneously with a kwela improvisation as an encore.

Dagbreek broadcast: http://bit.ly/1evTgR3

 

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