Project 1a


Through understanding people’s perceptions towards water reuse


Water recycling and its re-use is an important method to manage water resources. The perceptions of communities and other stakeholders on water reuse are very important because they ultimately decide on the actual reuse of water. Our aim is to develop a socially acceptable water reuse implementation strategy, by understanding human perceptions and institutional boundaries.


First the key institutions and stakeholders along the water treatment and reuse value chain are identified. Next, by doing interviews and surveys, the barriers (social, economic, and legal) to healthy water reuse and opportunities to overcome these barriers are identified. From these opportunities, generally acceptable reuse options across various stakeholders are selected and further developed. A sample of our interviews can be seen here.


By using behaviour theories we can assess which major factors influence people’s decision to accept or reject wastewater reuse. Ajzen’s Theory of Planned Behaviour (1985) will be used as a basis to test the major factors that influence individual’s decisions. These perceptions are used as input for the Analytic Hierarchy Process tool. This tool ranks the perceptions on water reuse options and allows us to find and study the generally acceptable reuse options across various stakeholders.


Actual water reuse depends on individual choices. Effective implementation strategies can be formulated by understanding the perception of stakeholders on water reuse. Our goal is to create a framework on which water reuse option across different stakeholders can be evaluated. This framework should be usable in different cultural settings and adaptable to various local contexts, thereby ensuring a higher success rate for future water reuse projects.


The framework will be applicable to other water reuse projects for urban spaces with range of stakeholders (including individuals, communities, businesses, and government agencies). By using this framework the most acceptable implementation options will be made available. Our approach includes the following for urban spaces around the world:

  • Water reuse implementation framework
  • Socially supported water reuse strategies


The project is a collaboration between researchers at The Energy and Resources Institute, India and VU University Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Our contributing partners offer their expertise on raising awareness and various aspects of wastewater treatment and reuse.

  • Wageningen Environmental Research
  • IPStar BV 
  • University of Applied Science Saxion

All our partners can be found here.

Illustrations: Projekt C| Text: Steef de Valk & Maaike Spuij | Logo: Annemarie van Aken
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