Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - 24


Obstacles to communication were also
outlined starting with the lack of consistent
terminology within the water industry, use
of jargon and a lack of public understanding
of water terms. Other barriers included
distrust of government and scientists,
concealment by opponents of their true
motives/concerns, the opposition not
revealing itself until late in the process
and pledged support not materializing
when implementation actually began on
the project.
The research also identified
avoidable missteps such as "not starting

24 THIRD
QUARTER 2016
781270_Water.indd
1

outreach early enough, not addressing
misinformation when it occurs, being
overconfident, having a wastewater
agency be the driving force for a potable
reuse project rather than having a water
supplier in the lead, neglecting media
outreach, not communicating all water
supply alternatives, labeling opponents
as irrational, making potable reuse
a pet project, avoiding conflict and
playing politics."
At the same time, research shows
public acceptance of potable reuse
can be achieved by implementing a

2/13/16 11:03 AM

coordinated, consistent and transparent
communication plan. Table 1. Top Ten Keys
to Building Public Support provides a list of
communications best practices.
Interestingly, research and the outline
of best practices by the WateReuse
Foundation and others on reuse projects
apply to nearly all water management
projects. But for reuse, understanding
the drivers of the "yuck" factor is also
helpful. Water managers know nearly all
urban water supplies are already recycled
by virtue of just being downstream from
another agency's discharge. Even rain
water and so-called pristine springs are
ultimately reused water. As Melissa
L. Meeker, the executive director of
WateReuse, has been known to say, "The
water that comes out of your tap today
may have been dinosaur pee."
Yet many members of the public have
little understanding of where their water
comes from, and the psychology of disgust
is a field of social science, not part of most
water manager's expertise. Paul Rozin, a
professor of psychology at the University
of Pennsylvania, became a go-to source
on the topic after he and his colleagues
conducted a series of studies engaging
more than two thousand American adults
and several hundred college students.
The results are published in the journal
Judgment and Decision Making. 2
In the first studies, participants were
asked their views on recycled water. Less
than half were comfortable with the idea;
even when told that treated, recycled
water is actually safer to drink than
unfiltered tap water. For a smaller minority
of individuals, no type of wastewater
treatment could make it acceptable for
drinking, even if the water is purer than
drinking or bottled water. Framing (the
setting of perspective and context) and
contagion (perceived contamination)
are two basic psychological processes
that influence recycled water rejection.
The minority didn't care what the safety
data said; they just felt the water would
never be drinkable. Moreover, these
feelings were often immune to rationality.
No amount of facts could overcome
resistance. Rozin explained, "The problem
isn't making the recycled water but getting
people to drink it, and it's a problem that
isn't going to be solved by engineers. It will
be solved by psychologists."


http://www.wef.org http://www.weftec.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016

The Latest Drinking Water Innovations
Potable Reuse of Water: A View from Arizona
Getting the Public on Board with Your Potable Water Reuse Plan
Recapturing Revenue from Water Loss
Water Depletion and the Customer
Boardroom Courtesy
From the President
Finance: Audit Requirements
Technology: The New System that Uses Sound to Alleviate Water Shortage
Emergency Management: Creating a Drought Response Plan
A Day in the Life of a Circuit Rider
Regulatory Update
Throwing My Loop: An Old Familiar Tune
Index to Advertisers/ Advertisers.com
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - cover1
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - cover2
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - 3
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - 4
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - 5
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - 6
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - 7
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - 8
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - 9
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - 10
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - From the President
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - The Latest Drinking Water Innovations
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - 13
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - 14
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - 15
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - 16
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - 17
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - Potable Reuse of Water: A View from Arizona
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - 19
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - 20
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - 21
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - Getting the Public on Board with Your Potable Water Reuse Plan
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - 23
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - 24
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - 25
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - Recapturing Revenue from Water Loss
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - 27
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - 28
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - 29
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - 30
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - Finance: Audit Requirements
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - 32
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - 33
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - 34
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - Technology: The New System that Uses Sound to Alleviate Water Shortage
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - 36
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - Emergency Management: Creating a Drought Response Plan
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - 38
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - 39
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - A Day in the Life of a Circuit Rider
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - 41
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - 42
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - Water Depletion and the Customer
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - 44
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - Boardroom Courtesy
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - 46
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - 47
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - Regulatory Update
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - 49
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - 50
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - Throwing My Loop: An Old Familiar Tune
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - 52
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - 53
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - Index to Advertisers/ Advertisers.com
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - 55
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - 56
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - 57
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - 58
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - cover3
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - cover4
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