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Understanding the preferences for different types of urban greywater uses and the impact of qualitative attributes

Año: 2020
Categoría: Cuencas urbanas, Recursos hídricos, Seguridad hídrica

Autores: Gloria Amaris, Richard Dawson, Jorge Gironás, Stephane Hess, Juan de Dios Ortúzar

Revista: Water Research 184 (2020) 116007; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12061540

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Abstract

Greywater reuse can allow substantial improvements in the efficiency of potable water systems. However, widespread uptake of greywater reuse depends on its acceptability by the population. Previous studies have assessed the implementation costs of greywater reuse technology, and considered its acceptability in principle. Although cost is clearly very important in terms of adopting/installing the technology, the actual perception of greywater reuse is crucial in driving the acceptability of use and the long-term success of the technology. This study uses discrete choice models to quantify, for the first time, the preferences of different socio-economic groups for greywater of different quality (colour, odour) and for different uses inside homes.

A stated choice survey that removed the influence of installation costs was developed, and implemented in Santiago, Chile. Although legislation allows greywater use in Santiago, it does not take place at any meaningful scale. Results show that, in decreasing order of preference, there is an overall acceptance for using high quality treated greywater for toilet flushing, laundry, garden irrigation, hand washing and, shower/bathtub use, but not for drinking. When the quality of appearance in terms of colour and odour gets worse, monetary incentives could be needed even for those uses that do not involve human contact. Gender, age, educational level, water expenditure level, and in particular previous knowledge about greywater reuse, are important determinants of acceptability and thus willingness to pay for greywater use; however, their importance varies according to the type of use. Our results provide important insights for understanding the conditions that would precipitate rapid and wide uptake of greywater reuse in cities, and thereby make better use of limited water resources.

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