Understanding community receptivity to water re-use: Ku-ring-gai Council case study

Rebekah R. Brown*, P. Davies

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


This social research project investigated community receptivity to using rainwater and greywater as alternative domestic water sources. It was focused in the Ku-ring-gai local government area in northern Sydney, and involved a household questionnaire followed by community leader interviews and resident focus groups. Trends, such as a prolonged drought and increasing population, compound the current crisis and concern facing Sydney's available water supply. Substitution of domestic potable water has been promoted as part of the solution. The research results revealed that community receptivity was highest for external uses, such as watering gardens and flushing toilets, and progressively decreased with increasing personal contact. Receptivity to greywater reuse fell more rapidly with the community believing there was a higher health risk associated with its use. Gender and cultural background were revealed as significant variables and give insight into the design of strategies to target these demographic groups. This evidence provides a reliable stocktake of current receptivity revealing that the community has good awareness and positive association with water reuse for many household activities. This now needs to be harnessed through programs targeted at developing skills, resources and motivation for new water reuse practices and technologies across diverse social groupings.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUrban Drainage Modelling and Water Sensitive Urban Design
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherIWA Publishing
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)1843395916, 9781843395911
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameWater Science and Technology
ISSN (Print)02731223


  • Community receptivity
  • Household water reuse
  • Social research
  • Urban water


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