WateReuse seeks DPR public communication model

The WateReuse Research Foundation has awarded a research grant of US$ 560,231 to Data Instincts and Katz & Associates, two public outreach firms specializing in water-reuse projects, to develop a model communication plan for achieving public acceptance of direct potable reuse (DPR).

The project will develop an implementable strategic-communication plan to achieve public acceptance of DPR in California, where the state has established a goal of reusing 1.5 million acre-feet (1.85 billion m³) of water by 2020 and 2.5 million acre-feet (3.08 billion m³) by 2030.

WateReuse leaders and water planners believe DPR needs to be accepted as a water supply source if the state is to reach those reuse goals. The project will serve as a blueprint for developing statewide programs on a national level, with a specific focus on California.

“The goal of this research is to develop a blueprint for talking to people about the technology used to purify reused water,” said Mark Millan, principal of Data Instincts and principal investigator for the project. “We know there are challenges to widespread acceptance of reusing water in this way. We want to understand what people’s questions and concerns are, learn how to best address them, and provide the information and science that is needed for the public to understand and accept potable reuse as a safe and reliable water source.”