Using recycled water for agricultural purposes in the Thessaly region, Greece: A primary investigation of citizens opinions
The purpose of this study was to investigate citizens opinions regarding wastewater reuse applications (especially irrigation applications) in Thessaly region, Greece. Thessaly region is located in central eastern part of Greece and its main feature is that a relatively high percentage of its population is partly or fully employed in agriculture. Furthermore, Thessaly region suffers from a distinct water shortage in summer period, which is partly attributed to the increased agricultural activity. Thus, it is believed that recycled water use for agricultural irrigation activities could be a satisfactory solution to the problem. Our purpose was to see if Thessaly citizens would be willing to accept recycled water being incorporated in water management plans of their area. The method followed for the above investigation was contingent valuation one which aims at evaluating nonmarket environmental resources through personal interviewing. Our study was based on data collected from 200 questionnaires, which were answered by citizens - consumers in Thessaly region. The group chosen for our study was random and the questionnaires were answered through personal interviewing. The data collected were then statistically analyzed. The main results show that Thessaly citizens are willing to use agricultural products irrigated with recycled water if they have sufficient information regarding wastewater reuse practices in Greece.