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Open AccessArticle

What Germany’s University Beginners Think about Water Reuse

ZMNU (Centre of Math & Science Education), Department of Biology Education, University of Bayreuth, NW-1, D-95447 Bavaria, Germany
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Water 2018, 10(6), 731; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10060731
Received: 23 April 2018 / Revised: 24 May 2018 / Accepted: 30 May 2018 / Published: 4 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Water Supply through Desalination and Wastewater Reuse)
Water reuse is a new technology, not yet implemented, but discussed for use in Germany. Public opinion plays a major role in the success of the introduction of this new technology and was not yet analyzed for Germany. When monitoring 340 university beginners’ conceptions regarding water reuse, a variety of conceptions appeared. While usage of tap water is accepted for drinking purposes, acceptance of recycled water for oral consumption was low. When asked for reasons for (not) using recycled water, three groups of respondents were extracted: (a) The acceptors (convinced of quality, or naming sustainability as a reason); (b) the undecided (doubts about quality, rejection of its use for consumption, and psychological conflicts of logic and disgust); (c) the non-acceptors (unconvinced of quality and preference for bottled water). When asked about factors that would lead to accepting the use of recycled water, insights into treatment processes were identified as the most convincing, followed by educational films and guided tours. Participants showed high conviction about currently existing tap-water qualities. Having water that is cleaned before it reaches the consumer was reported to have high priority. To increase acceptance of water reuse, recommendations for appropriate outreach programs are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: water reuse; recycled water; attitudes; adolescents water reuse; recycled water; attitudes; adolescents
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Schmid, S.; Bogner, F.X. What Germany’s University Beginners Think about Water Reuse. Water 2018, 10, 731.

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