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Citizens perceptions on water reuse in Sabadell

“Water reuse is common practice in the space station, thus it can be done.” This was a stricking observation of an elderly woman who participated in a citizens meeting on water reuse in Sabadell, Spain. As part of KWR’s governance research within the European project Demoware, a citizens focus group was organised on 21-1-2016 at CASSA, the water company of Sabadell. CASSA is operating several urban water reuse practices such as park irrigation, street cleaning and toilet flushing with treated municipal wastewater.

In general, the citizens are aware of water scarcity in the region and they expressed a positive attitude towards water reuse for a large range of practices. In fact, they expect government to make the use of reclaimed water mandatory for businesses and new houses. There is a health safety concern in case of potable reuse. But if water reuse organisations are transparent, if outsiders (e.g. doctors, health authority) approve the safety, and preferably if it is cheaper, they would even consider potable water reuse.

CASSA concluded that a focus group is a new and valuable instrument for them to engage with citizens on water reuse initiatives. 


Jos Frijns, KWR