“The public appears deeply sceptical about drinking recycled water due to fears about health risk, despite scientific evidence of the safety of modern treatment processes,” the report says.
Mr Knowles said psychological barriers have held Australians back when it comes to considering broad options for water usage and resources, he said.
“We can get environmental, social and economic dividends without wrecking the landscape, and indeed creating the hope of a retooled, revitalised, food-producing district for another few generations,” he said.”
ATSE President Professor Robin Batterham said community attitudes to water were slow to change.
“On the urban side, people are starting to say, ‘Actually, reuse is smarter than what we’re doing now,'” he told AAP.
He pointed to innovative water solutions in place in Singapore and Hong Kong, saying Australians were now asking why they paid so much for urban water in comparison.
“Why are there restrictions on what we’re using when there are healthy alternatives?” he asked.
The ATSE report, funded by the Australian Research Council, is the first of three reports to apply a sustainable growth approach to key resource issues in the Australian economy.
Source: 9News (Neda Vanovac)
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