Untapped Knowledge about Water Reuse: the Roles of Direct and Indirect Educational Messaging
Water Resources Management
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Public awareness of water quality concerns has increased since the Flint, MI crisis, but knowledge about water resources management remains low. Consequently, acceptance of potable reuse also remains low. A mixed methods approach is utilized in three phases to determine if direct messaging (information about de facto water reuse aimed at increasing knowledge about wastewater reuse) increases acceptance of planned potable reuse, and if indirect messaging (local public notifications about health-based drinking water violations) affects the effectiveness of the direct messaging. In Phase 1, a spatial analysis was conducted to validate the use of local water quality violations as an indirect message. In Phase 2, a within-subjects comparison was employed to test whether consumers change their potable reuse perceptions, intentions, and attitudes after reading a knowledge-based message regarding water reuse. In Phase 3, the effect of indirect messaging, as well as the interaction of direct and indirect messaging were further analyzed. Phase 1 results match previous findings that suggest that drinking water violations tend to occur and reoccur in spatially specific patterns. Phase 2 confirms the utility of direct messaging to improve potable reuse acceptance. Phase 3 shows that indirect messaging interacts with consumers’ education level and actual knowledge to impact potable reuse acceptance.
Potable reuse; De facto reuse; Actual knowledge; Education level; Drinking water; Violations; Messaging; Consumer behavior; Water reuse intention; Perceived price; SDWIS
Mass Communication | Water Resource Management
Barnes, J. L.,
Krishen, A. S.,
Untapped Knowledge about Water Reuse: the Roles of Direct and Indirect Educational Messaging.
Water Resources Management, 35