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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

Zakes Mda honoured at UFS Summer Graduation
2013-11-21

 
The awarded author, Dr Zakes Mda, received his honorary doctorate at the University of the Free State at the December Graduation Ceremony. Pictured here with him is Dr Khotso Mokhele, Chancellor of the UFS.

Live streaming will be available: http://www.ufs.ac.za/ufslivestreaming/ 

On Thursday 5 December 2013, the University of the Free State (UFS) will award more than 300 degrees and qualifications during the Summer graduation at the Bloemfontein Campus.

The graduation will take place during two ceremonies in the Callie Human Centre, where master’s and PhD degrees will be awarded during the first ceremony at 10:15 and diplomas, certificates and undergraduate qualifications awarded to students from the School of Open Learning and the Faculty of Health Sciences at 14:30.

An honorary doctorate from the UFS will also be bestowed on the author, Dr Zakes Mda, during the morning ceremony.

Dr Mda is a South African literary icon and public intellectual with extraordinary local and international influence. Mda’s contribution to world literature and contemporary South African public life resonates powerfully with some of the fundamental principles of the Academic and Human Projects articulated in the strategic thrust of the University of the Free State, which makes him an ideal candidate for an honorary doctorate from our university.

Some of his most famous works include Ways of Dying, Heart of Redness, The Madonna of Excelsior, The Whale Caller, Cion, Black Diamond and his recent memoir: Sometimes There is a Void: Memoirs of an Outsider.

The Springbok rugby player, Jannie du Plessis, will address graduandi during both ceremonies.

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