Re-use of treated wastewater for irrigation and groundwater recharge: environmental impacts and public perception

Project Details


To evolve towards a sustainable robust water system, water re-use and reclamation of treated wastewater are essential. By re-using treated wastewater as a source for water for agriculture, industry, ecology or households, the water cycle can be closed to create a circular water economy. The two most important barriers hampering application of re-use of treated wastewater are (1) a lack of knowledge about its environmental impacts and (2) uncertainty about public perception and acceptance of water re-use.

This project aims at tackling these two crucial barriers in an interdisciplinary approach as these cannot be investigated separately. To install pilot sites to study environmental impacts, understanding of public perception and an effective communication strategy is needed since public reactions to the test might endanger the success of the experiment. Public acceptance, however, is only possible if safety can be ensured and scientifically demonstrated through a monitored pilot site.

This project will create a network and setup a pilot site for interdisciplinary research on feasibility, environmental impacts, public perception and communication on water re-use for irrigation and groundwater recharge. This will result in the setup of new design methodology unifying public perception, technical, environmental and communication aspects that can be applied to other new technologies and environmental challenges.
Effective start/end date1/11/1931/10/24

Flemish discipline codes

  • Other natural sciences not elsewhere classified
  • Science and health communication
  • Communication research methodology
  • Media and communication theory
  • Social perception and cognition
  • Social behaviour and social action
  • Other psychology and cognitive sciences not elsewhere classified
  • Environmental engineering modelling
  • Hydrogeology


  • re-use treated wastewater
  • irrigation
  • groundwater recharge
  • environmental impact
  • public perception
  • Communication