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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

2016: The year that was on the Qwaqwa Campus
2016-12-19

Description: Dr Lehlohonolo Koao, Qwaqwa highlights 2017 Tags: Dr Lehlohonolo Koao  

Dr Lehlohonolo Koao believes his research
will improve ordinary lives.
Photo: Thabo Kessah

Description: Prof Lis Lange, Qwaqwa highlights 2017 Tags: Prof Lis Lange, Qwaqwa highlights 2017

Prof Lis Lange making a point about
the governance, leadership, and
management processes at the university.
Photo: Thabo Kessah

Description: I-DENT-I-TIES, Qwaqwa Campus highlights 2017 Tags: I-DENT-I-TIES, Qwaqwa Campus highlights 2017

One of the leading performers of
I-DENT-I-TIES, Baanetse Mokhotla.
Photo: Thabo Kessah

The year 2016 has seen the Qwaqwa Campus become a hive of activity from all fronts.

Lithium-ion batteries research

On the research front, Dr Lehlohonolo Koao started work on the research that is aimed at improving lives of ordinary people. His research project focuses on improving the efficiency of lithium-ion batteries that are now commonly used in portable electronics, such as cellphones and laptops.

“This study will enhance power retention in the batteries for improved daily life since cellphones, solar panels, and laptops, to mention only a few, are now a way of life.’’

Dr Koao is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Physics, where he specialises in solid state materials. He is also a member of the Vice-Chancellor’s Prestige Scholars Programme.

Spotlight on the academic project

To create a conducive teaching and learning environment on the campus amid the academic difficulties experienced during the year, the Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice (IRSJ) hosted a critical conversation that was facilitated by Vice-Rector: Academic, Prof Lis Lange.

Prof Lange interacted with students who asked her very difficult, but critical questions relating to internal UFS processes aimed at academic excellence. Issues that were discussed included developing a common understanding on governance, leadership, and management processes at the university.

Student talent unearthed

This was a year during which massive student talent was unearthed by an unusual stage play called I-DENT-I-TIES. This large-scale interdisciplinary performance project afforded Qwaqwa students an unforgettable experience. This was according to Baanetse Mokhotla, one of the leading performers.

“I have personally learnt a lot about performing arts and also grew as an individual.”

The creative minds behind the play included New York-based Dutch director, Erwin Maas; Vienna-based Dutch theatre designer, Nico de Rooij; Djana Covic, a Serbian performance-craft-artist based in Vienna; and South African film and stage legend Jerry Mofokeng. The production was part of this year’s Vrystaat Arts Festival in Bloemfontein.

 

 

 

 

 

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