Water Resources and Wastewater Reuse: Perceptions of Students at the Ohio State University

The Ohio Journal of Science (2010), 110(5): 104-113, 2012 Forthcoming

33 Pages Posted: 18 May 2012 Last revised: 23 Sep 2012

See all articles by Sridhar Vedachalam

Sridhar Vedachalam

Environmental Policy Innovation Center

Karen Mancl

Ohio State University (OSU)

Date Written: May 16, 2012


As global population increases and more people achieve higher standards of living, the availability of freshwater across the world may be threatened in the coming decades. Reuse of wastewater is seen as one of the many solutions that can reduce the need for freshwater and lead to long-term sustainability. However, the concept of wastewater reuse does not elicit unconditional public support. Universities worldwide have taken the lead in creating water management programs for their local watersheds. Students at the main campus of The Ohio State University were surveyed for their opinions on water resources and wastewater reuse using an online questionnaire. Results indicate weak awareness of facts and practices regarding water usage and quality, but strong support for implementing a wastewater reuse program in the region. Level of contact with the treated wastewater and familiarity with the institution undertaking the wastewater reuse program have strong impacts on perceptions of the processed wastewater quality. This is important for institutions that serve public needs and depend on consumer trust to promote new and innovative environmental initiatives. Water management programs involving wastewater reuse could be an effective method to reduce the risks in scenarios which project potential water shortages in urban areas during the coming decades.

Keywords: water resources, water reclamation, wastewater, reuse, university, student, perceptions

JEL Classification: I18, Q25

Suggested Citation

Vedachalam, Sridhar and Mancl, Karen, Water Resources and Wastewater Reuse: Perceptions of Students at the Ohio State University (May 16, 2012). The Ohio Journal of Science (2010), 110(5): 104-113, 2012 Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2060948

Sridhar Vedachalam (Contact Author)

Environmental Policy Innovation Center

777 6th St NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States

Karen Mancl

Ohio State University (OSU) ( email )

Blankenship Hall-2010
901 Woody Hayes Drive
Columbus, OH OH 43210
United States

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