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Investigating community attitudes to alternative water sources

Project Number # 4539-19

Investigating community attitudes to alternative water sources: Barwon region, Australia

Project Leader:  Christina Semasingha

To face the mounting pressures of increasing demands on depleting fresh water supplies, the water industries are compelled to explore alternative water supplies such as desalination, water recycling (Indirect and Direct Potable Reuse), and storm water reuse, among others. However, community attitudes to such alternative sources and technologies remain a critical barrier to be overcomed in most contexts. This research will explore community attitudes to different sources of water, particularly in relation to trust (both in the relevant technology, and trust in the administrating water utility), the perceived need for alternatives in light of climate change, and the so-called ‘yuck factor’, which is often cited in the water literature as a key cause of negative attitudes to alternative water sources.

Supervisors:  Dr Tanya King, Dr David Giles & Assoc Prof Santosh Jatrana [Deakin University]
                       Dr Michael Thomas [Barwon Regional Water Corporation]

Mentor:         Dr Kathy Northcott [Water Research Australia]