Managing risk communication for recycled water projects in Australia
Project Report -Enhancing risk communication from science to policy, regulation and implementation of recycled water projects in Australia
A report of a study funded by the Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence,
Griffith University, University of Queensland, August 2013
One of the major impediments to water recycling in Australia has been the lack of public acceptance of some forms of recycled water and lack of clarity concerning regulatory guidance concerning the chemical content allowed in recycled water for drinking purposes. Given that public perceptions of risk are a key factor in the rejection of recycled water schemes, it is vital that policy makers, regulators, and water managers provide clear and credible assurances to the community that they are making decisions informed by the best available science.
This 2013 University of Queensland and Griffith University report reviews literature of unsuccessful recycled water projects in Australia. It explores the concept of risk communication and provide theoretical perspectives for understanding the social and cultural influences on risk perceptions. An outline of the national and international research on communication and science/policy/practice issues will then be presented, and current communication issues relating to recycled water in these arenas are identified.