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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

UFS Council unanimously approves two senior appointments
2014-11-24

The Council of the University of the Free State (UFS) unanimously approved the appointment of Dr Lis Lange as Vice-Rector: Academic and Prof Sechaba Mahlomaholo as Dean: Education during its meeting on Friday 21 November 2014.

Dr Lis Lange is currently Acting Vice-Rector: Academic at the University of the Free State, where she holds a substantive position as Senior Director heading the Directorate for Institutional Research and Academic Planning (DIRAP). Prof Mahlomaholo is Head of the School of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology Education at the UFS.

“These are two exceptional and trusted academics with international stature and I am delighted to welcome them as part of the senior leadership of the UFS. Dr Lange’s skills set pertaining to academic management and quality assurance make her one of only a few people with similar skills in the country, while Prof Mahlomaholo is a leading expert in community-based education,” says Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS.

Dr Lange joined the UFS in 2011. Before this, she was the Executive Director (2006-2010) of the Higher Education Quality Committee of the Council of Higher Education (CHE), and Acting CEO of the same organisation between August 2007 and April 2008. She has been involved in the development and implementation of science and technology and higher education policy in South Africa for a decade and a half, working in different capacities in the Human Sciences Research Council, the National Research Foundation and the Council on Higher Education. Dr Lange has served as a member of the board of the International Network of Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE) and has participated in several international initiatives on quality assurance. She is the editor of an academic journal focused on the humanities, Acta Academica.

She has undertaken research and published in the fields of history, higher education and quality assurance. Her major concern in both research and practice is the role of higher education in the development of democratic societies, based on social justice. Dr Lange studied in Argentina, Mexico and South Africa, where she obtained a PhD in South African history from the University of the Witwatersrand.

Prof Mahlomaholo is a graduate of the Universities of the North, Western Cape and Harvard University in the United States. He is a National Research Foundation (NRF)-rated Professor of Education.

Before joining the UFS, he worked at six other universities where he was Deputy Dean in the Faculty of Education (UNIN-QwaQwa), Head of Professional Education (Vista University), Professor and Director of Research and Postgraduate Studies (MEDUNSA), Professor and Director of Curriculum Development (Central University of Technology), and Research Professor (North-West University).

His research interests lie in designing strategies mounted on Bricolage, Participatory Action Research and Critical Emancipatory Research as theoretical bases. He leads the NRF-sponsored project on the creation of Sustainable Learning Environments in schools. In this Participatory Action Research project, 28 PhD and 22 MEd students participate under the guidance of 15 academics. The project has relationships with the Global Network project (St Petersburg University), the Post-Colonial Education project (West Indies University) and the Discourse, Power, Resistance project (Plymouth University and now University of London). He has served as guest editor in the following ISI-indexed, peer-reviewed and accredited journals: the South African Journal of Higher Education (2010 and 2014), the South African Journal of Education (2011), Communitas (2012), the Journal of New Generation Sciences (2012), the Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa (2013) and the Journal of Education Studies (2013).

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