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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

Student protests at the Bloemfontein Campus of the University of the Free State
2017-02-24

I am writing to you about this week’s student protests at the Bloemfontein Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS), regarding access to higher education.

It is understandable that parents and/or guardians are concerned about the situation on campus, the safety of students, and the impact of the protests on the academic programme. Although disruption of some classes occurred on Tuesday 21 and Wednesday 22 February 2017, academic and other activities continued this week. 

Be assured that contingency plans for the safety and security of staff and students are in place. Members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) are on campus and the situation is monitored with their support and assistance. The necessary authorisation has also been obtained for action by the SAPS in support of our endeavour to ensure the safety of staff and students on all our campuses.

We are committed to do all in our power to ensure stability and safety on campus, and an uninterrupted academic programme. All lawful means will be deployed to achieve this.

Kind regards,
Prof Nicky Morgan
Acting Vice-Chancellor and Rector
University of the Free State

State of our campuses #1 (22 February 2017)
Memorandum handed to UFS management on 21 February 2017

Released by:
Lacea Loader (Director: Communication and Brand Management)
Telephone: +27 51 401 2584 | +27 83 645 2454
Email: news@ufs.ac.za | loaderl@ufs.ac.za
Fax: +27 51 444 6393

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