Hundreds of recycled water projects in communities throughout California, Arizona, Texas, Nevada, and Florida have been implemented over the past 75 years—some with community involvement and support and some without. In the past 10 years, with unparalleled growth and water demand in some areas of the country, as well as increased public scrutiny of public works, some recycled water projects have been met with opposition and controversy, especially where outreach was not implemented. Public outreach and marketing should no longer be an option or afterthought, but an integral component of every recycled water project to ensure that the public understands and supports reuse. Building the infrastructure necessary for a recycled water system requires large capital investments; therefore, every agency should ensure that ratepayers are aware and knowledgeable about how tax dollars are benefiting their community. The research conducted as part of the Guidebook demonstrates that once people know what recycled water is, how it is used, and that it is safe, they wholeheartedly support its use.
Originally funded as WERF project Reuse-03-05.