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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

Volksblad (Editorial) Transformation recipe (Afrikaans)
2007-02-13

(Editorial - Afrikaans)

Dinsdag 13 Februarie 2007
Hoofartikelblad

Transformasie-resep

DIE transformasieproses in Suid-Afrika kan vooruitgang pootjie as dit nie reg aangepak en deurgevoer word nie.
 
 

Anders gestel: 'n Onbekookte, ondeurdagte proses kan soveel skade aanrig dat dit die land jare gaan neem net om weer op die been te kom.

 
 
Dit is hierdie slaggate waarteen prof. Adam Habib, direkteur van demokrasie en regering by die RGN, waarsku. Transformasie in die hoër onderwys is hier ter sprake, maar belangrike lesse is ook vir die res van die staatshuishouding te leer.
 

Habib het op 'n gespreksgeleentheid op die Wits-kampus gesê universiteite kan binne 10 tot 15 jaar sterf as niks gedoen word om nuwe, jong akademici van gehalte te werf nie. In hul poging om te transformeer en "swart boude op sitplekke te kry" het universiteite so agtergeraak met hul doelwitte dat hulle nou selfs van swakker gehalte is as vroeër. "Speletjies" word met transformasie gespeel en 'n "malheid" rondom syfers is aan die gang.
 

Instellings fokus so daarop om hul kwota-mikpunte te bereik, sê die professor, dat dienslewering en kundigheid die kreeftegang gaan. "So kry 'n mens 'n situasie waar die adjunk-president dan aankondig sy moet Indië toe gaan om vaardige mense te kry."
 

'n Mens kan net hoop dat hierdie waarskuwings op die regte ore val.
 

Transformasie is nodig, maar beslis nie tot elke prys nie.
 

Dit kan die hoëronderwys-sektor loon om te kom kyk waarheen die Universiteit van die Vrystaat met sy Institusionele Manifes op pad is.
 

Die manifes, tans nog 'n besprekingsdokument, gaan die transformasieproses van die UV rig met as einddoel 'n instelling waar alle Suid-Afrikaners plek sal hê en tuis sal voel, maar waarin kernwaardes soos akademiese gehalte en die volgehoue versterking van kernbevoegdhede en -vermoëns ononderhandelbaar is.
 

Dit is sekerlik die enigste pad na transformasie-welslae wat Suid-Afrika kan en moet loop.

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