Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Previous Archive
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

Junior researcher makes Kovsies proud

Herkulaas Combrink received the Junior Researcher Award at the 3rd Annual Health Research Day held on 30 and 31 October 2014. On this day, clinicians and scientists shared information on research that will impact health in the Free State.

Combrink is a student in the Faculty of Health Sciences’ Department of Human Genetics, as well as Medical Science intern with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). His research project: ‘Familial Breast Cancer in BRCA1 and BRCA2 within the Indian population of South Africa’ forms part of an umbrella study which looks at the various populations of South Africa for familial breast cancer mutations within BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, so that diagnostic panels can be created. This is the first study of its kind to be done on this population group in South Africa.

He says: “I am passionate about my research and the impact of my work. I am hard-working and believe in the value of my contribution to science. My philosophy is that theory must always be put into practice. I apply this philosophy to everything I pursue.”

The research week was held by the School of Medicine in conjunction with the Free State Department of Health.

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.