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National Demonstration, Education & Engagement Program


Impact theme: More about impact themes
Water Recycling for Drinking


Recycled water for drinking - Information tools and engagement strategies: a video overview of the tools, strategies and resources for developing a recycled water for drinking public education and engagement program.

NDEEP wins 2014 WateReuse International Award

Despite increasing pressure on traditional potable water sources, there are still major challenges to successfully engaging with the community and stakeholders around water recycling for drinking. This project has investigated how to address these challenges and has developed high quality, evidence-based resources for community, government, media and industry. The project team is a consortium of Australian and international water utilities, universities and private companies, led by The University of New South Wales.

The project involves three research streams. Stream 1 focuses on the technical aspects and performance of existing water recycling. Stream 2 focuses on the social science related to community perceptions, and beliefs and factors that influence community decision making, as well as communication and regulatory aspects related to using recycled water for drinking. Stream 3 has produced a variety of products for education and communication.

Each stream has generally involved three phases of work: phase 1 involved reviewing literature, case studies and benchmarking; stage 2 involved surveying stakeholders, conducting focus groups and analysis; and stage 3 involved consolidating all the knowledge, tools and resources into a National Demonstration, Education and Engagement Program to help remove the social, political, economic and regulatory barriers to augmenting Australia’s drinking water supplies with recycled water.


Work undertaken and outcomes to date

Research in each stream is nearing completion. Major outcomes produced are:

  • A database of information about seven recycled water schemes internationally
  • A review of biomonitoring and epidemiological literature and studies
  • Reports and videos on the resilience and sustainability of recycled water
  • Reports on community perceptions, attitudes and values about water reuse
  • Reports on risk communication, governance, decision-making and pricing-related impediments to investment in water recycling
  • A Global Connections Map showing information featuring expert and citizen commentary about potable water recycling schemes internationally
  • A series of animations and videos to explain aspects of recycled water
  • A web-based platform for housing NDEEP products.


Adoption and impact

These products and tools are designed to be used for planning and engagement throughout the stages of potable recycling, from early technical feasibility to project design, construction and commissioning. The Centre is engaging with project partners and other water authorities to have the suite of technical information, guidance tools and communication products implemented and trialled in communities both in Australia and the USA. 

Tools for helping the community better understand water recycling include: 
The Global Connections Map Videos that explain the water cycle and water treatment steps  Think-and-Drink animations 


Project Partners

Lead organisation: The University of New South Wales  
Partner organisations: Water Services Association of Australia Barwon Water 
Seqwater Global Water Intelligence (UK)
Sydney Water Griffith University
Australian National University Marsden Jacobs Associates
Water Futures Black & Veatch
Coliban Water Orange City Council
Veolia Water Australia PUB (Singapore)
  West Basin Municipal Water District (USA) Global Vision International (USA)
  WateReuse Research Foundation (USA) GHD Australia
  New Water Resources (USA) Nestis Consulting
  National Measurement Institute University of the Sunshine Coast
  Victoria University CSIRO
  ACTEW Corporation SA Water 
  Yarra Valley Water Australian Water Association
  MWH (Australia) SMC & Associates
  Orange Water County District (USA) City of San Diego Public Utilities Department (USA)
  The University of Queensland Water Environment Research Foundation (USA)

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