Most Americans strongly support using recycled water for non-drinking uses, but the majority remain hesitant about “toilet-to-tap” recycling.
That’s one of the findings of a recent General Electric survey of 3,000 consumers in the United States, China and Singapore.
According to the survey, 80 percent of Americans believe it’s important to use recycled water and strongly support using recycled water for many “toilet-to-turf” uses. This includes activities that require large amounts of non-potable water, such as agricultural irrigation, landscaping, power generation, industrial processing and manufacturing, car washing and toilet flushing.
The survey also reveals that Americans are concerned about the future availability and quality of water. Of those surveyed, 83 percent expressed concerned about the availability of clean water and 84 percent feel that water resources should be a national priority. Forty-four percent would pay more to ensure future generations would be less vulnerable to water shortages.
“The survey, which we developed to get a better understanding of the awareness and barriers to adoption of water reuse, revealed stronger support for water recycling than we expected. It shows that the vast majority of Americans understand the value of water reuse,” said Heiner Markhoff, president and CEO of water and process technologies for GE Power & Water in a press release.
Americans also feel that the largest consumers of water are most responsible for contributing to water scarcity. Those seen as contributing an “extreme amount” or “quite a bit” to water scarcity include large industries (74 percent), agriculture (69 percent) and utilities and power companies (67 percent).
Although Americans have a strong grasp of the country’s largest water users and a positive view on water reuse in general, Americans’ understanding of the water lifecyle lags behind those surveyed in China and Singapore. According to the survey, 31 percent of Americans don’t know where their water comes from, compared to 14 percent of those in China and 15 percent of those in Singapore.
According to the United Nations, around 700 million people in 43 countries suffer from water scarcity today, and it’s projected that 1.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity by 2025.