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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

Remain positive, keep an eye on the finish line
2016-11-08

Description: Academic Reboot Pack 2.0    Tags: Academic Reboot Pack 2.0

Dealing with anxiety can be daunting.
There are methods to help and assist
with your anxiety.

Photo: iStock

No one is immune to anxiety, and the current challenging academic times are no exception. With the Academic Reboot Pack 2.0, the University of the Free State (UFS) addresses these adversities.

Dealing with anxiety differently

People react to anxiety differently. For some it’s like a dark tunnel with no light at the end, while it keeps others on their toes. Regardless of how you deal with it, it is still an unpleasant emotion.

“For me, it (anxiety) makes me more determined to do well, so that I can start the next part of my life as soon as possible,” said Greg Butters, a postgraduate BCom Accounting student at the UFS.

Ways to manage and overcome

There are different ways to manage anxiety. Here are some methods that can assist you in dealing with it:

Keep the following in mind when you are feeling anxious:

  • Realise that anxiety is an amplified response to stress.
  • Face your anxiety head-on.
  • Do not add to your anxiety by thinking about what "might" happen. If you find yourself asking "What if?" tell yourself "So what!"

Where to get the right help

It is also important to know that there is help. When you feel that anxiety is affecting you negatively, pick up a phone and call one of the following departments:

 

  • Medical Practice                                +27 51 401 2603
  • Qwaqwa Campus Clinic                    +27 58 718 5210
  • Sports and Exercise Medicine Clinic  +27 51 401 2530
  • First Aid                                             +27 51 401 3325
  • Emergencies (After hours) - ER 24   0800 051 051 or 084 124

You can also contact the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) 24-hour helpline. SADAG has various helplines that can help you deal with anxiety and depression.

Get your copy of the Academic Reboot Pack 2.0 on  Blackboardunder announcements or click here to download it.

Also see the first Academic Reboot Pack.

If students have any question or queries regarding the Academic Reboot Pack, they can send an email to: advising@ufs.ac.za.

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