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Stanford Study Probes Psychological Resistance to Recycled Water

News Deeply and Water Polls
November 3, 2017
Mitch Tobin

Stanford researchers have found that Californians’ views on recycled water depend heavily on how that water is eventually used.

The study, which appeared in the August 2017 issue of Water and Environment Journal, revealed that psychological resistance to using treated effluent can be reduced, to some extent, by explaining the treatment process to people and informing them of an existing program in Orange County.

“In short, adding positive claims boosts support for using recycled water to some degree,” according to the study, “but the public remains resistant to using water that involves ingestion or personal contact.”

The paper, based on a 2015 internet survey of 1,500 Californians, was authored by political scientists Iris Hui and Bruce Cain, who are affiliated with Stanford’s Bill Lane Center for the American West.