Wicked water: engaging with communities in complex conversations about water recycling

Katja Mikhailovich

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    Water security is at the forefront of public attention in Australia. One response to Australia’s current water situation is water recycling; however, community responses to recycling have been contentious. Examining reactions to recycling reveals that debates are underpinned by competing discourses about water, giving rise to different ways of talking, writing, making meaning, and responding to issues of water security. In 2007 a local government in Australia considered a proposal to augment domestic water storages with highly treated wastewater. This was referred to as the “Water2WATER” project. A 3-month community consultation was conducted, including health and environmental assessments. Despite apparently favorable recommendations, the proposal was not considered suitable as an immediate response to securing the region’s water supply. The consultation revealed a host of competing environmental, scientific, and cultural discourses emerging from community, government, and industry responses. Introducing an ecosystem approach to engaging communities about water recycling may provide new ways of assisting communities come to terms with the challenges concerned with water security in the future
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)324-330
    Number of pages7
    JournalPlasma Processes and Polymers
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2009


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