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
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: Suggested Citation