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  1. Abstract

    Urban communities around the world are grappling with the challenges associated with population increases, drought, and projected water shortages. With a substantial global shortfall between water supply and demand expected by 2030, water planning strategies must adapt to a new reality characterized by higher temperatures and less precipitation, requiring new ways of thinking about water management, use, and governance. Commonplace strategies such as water conservation and nonpotable water reuse might not be sufficient to adequately stretch water supplies in water‐scarce parts of the industrialized world. In the United States, planned potable water reuse (i.e., purification of domestic wastewater for reuse as drinking water) is emerging as a way forward to mitigate water shortages without significant changes to lifestyle, behavior, or infrastructure. But potable reuse is not the only solution: paradigm shifting and disruptive options that more holistically address water scarcity, such as composting toilets and market‐based approaches to water use, are also gaining traction, and they could be pursued alongside or instead of potable water reuse. However, these options would require more significant changes to lifestyles, behavior, infrastructure, and governance. While all of the options considered offer advantages, they each come with new concerns and challenges related to cost, public perception, social norms, and policy. The goal of this work is to consider a number of plausible solutions to water scarcity—partial and complete, traditional and disruptive—to stimulate forward‐looking thinking about the increasingly common global problem of water scarcity.

    This article is categorized under:

    Engineering Water > Sustainable Engineering of Water

    Engineering Water > Planning Water

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  2. Abstract

    This research describes geospatial analyses of water‐related knowledge and opinion data on potable water reuse collected through a large‐scale public survey of water utility customers in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We identify key geographic areas, or statistically significant “hotspots,” of public distrust in the local water utility provider, public willingness (or lack thereof) to accept potable water reuse, and lack of knowledge or misconceptions about water‐related issues and climate change. By combining public survey data, geographic information system software, and spatial statistics for hotspot analyses, we introduce a tailored outreach method to identify geographic locations for targeted outreach and education on water‐related issues. This new approach to analyzing survey data is a promising dimension of water management, and the method could be important for tackling other resource management issues in additional cities or regions as well.

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    The There Is No Poop Fairy campaign began in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 2014 to encourage dog owners to pick up their dogs’ waste so that it does not contaminate the Rio Grande through stormwater runoff. This research aimed to understand the success of the campaign using a survey of local dog owners. Results suggest that the campaign was successful based on its reach and influence on self-reported pickup frequency and showed that those who were aware of the campaign reported higher frequencies of dog waste pickup, greater environmental concern, and greater awareness about the effects of dog waste on stormwater quality. 
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