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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

Situation on the UFS Bloemfontein Campus under control after further disruptions
2016-02-23

State of our campuses #8

Further disruptions occurred on the Bloemfontein Campus of the UFS today after clashes between students on the campus last night. Members of the Public Order Policing had to disperse some students and the situation was stabilised in the early hours of the morning. No one was arrested and no major injuries occurred.

The clashes erupted last night after a group of protesters moved on to the field and disrupted a Varsity Cup rugby match that was already under way between the FNB Shimlas and the FNB Madibaz at Xerox Shimla Park. Subsequently the protesters were assaulted by some spectators who also ran on to the field.

Disruption continued this morning when students damaged some university property. Additional reinforcements from the South African Police Service were brought in to stabilise the campus. Some outsourced contract workers and students are still demonstrating outside the Main Gate of the campus on Nelson Mandela Avenue. The campus is relatively calm now and matters are under control.
The safety of students in residences on campus is the major concern for the senior leadership of the university and extra care is being taken to ensure their safety. In one case a residence had to be vacated and alternative accommodation was arranged for the students. The situation is under control in other residences. 

The Bloemfontein and South Campuses are closed from 23 to 24 February 2016 and no academic and administrative services are available.

Members of the university’s Protection Services and the South African Police Service are on the Bloemfontein Campus and are monitoring the situation closely.

A comprehensive investigation about the course of events that took place on the Bloemfontein Campus since yesterday morning continues.

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