According to a San Diego County Water Authority Study, Attitudes and Perceptions are Changing Concerning Water Recycling
• Respondents (85 percent) are largely aware that recycled water is already in use in San Diego County for irrigation and other non-drinking water purposes. Residents (89 percent either strongly favor or somewhat favor) support the use of recycled water for non-drinking purposes, and this finding is consistent with previous surveys.
• Over one-half (53 percent) of respondents believe that it is possible to treat recycled water to make it is pure and safe for drinking, and over one third (35 percent) think that drinking water already contains recycled water. Among those who hold this belief, 22 percent feel this way because the water tastes or smells bad, and 18 percent learned about the use of recycled water through the media.
• Over three-fifths (63 percent) of the respondents either strongly favor or somewhat favor advanced treated recycled water as an addition to the supply of drinking water. Support for recycled water in all of its proposed or current uses is significantly stronger among those who know that it is presently being used in the County than it is among those without such knowledge. The interest in using recycled water for drinking purposes has increased substantially since 2005 when 28 percent either strongly favored or somewhat favored such use of recycled water.
• It is noteworthy that approximately 40 percent of those who were originally not strongly in favor of using recycled water for drinking purposes would find it acceptable if it received advanced treatment and upon learning about certain other safety provisions to be undertaken.
• More specifically, it is most interesting of all is that 30%-47% of those who are initially not sure or somewhat opposed to the use of recycled water for drinking can be positively influenced.
2009 Public Opinion Poll Report Rea & Parker Research San Diego County Water Authority April, 2009