Investigation of wastewater reuse potential in Thessaly region, Greece
The purpose of the present study was to investigate social acceptability of recycled water use in Thessaly region, Greece. The method followed for the above investigation was contingent valuation which aims at evaluating non-market environmental resources through personal interviewing. Thus, two separate surveys were organized. The first one was designed especially for farmers while the second one was designed for consumers of agricultural products. Three hundred questionnaires were answered in total. The purpose was to determine both farmers' willingness to use recycled water for irrigation purposes and consumers' willingness to use agricultural products irrigated with recycled water. Both questionnaires followed a similar structure: they were divided in two sessions; the first one dealt with personal data of the interviewee while the second one aimed at informing both consumers and farmers for the advantages and disadvantages of wastewater reuse and at investigating whether they are willing to use recycled water or the agricultural products irrigated by this water. The data collected from the study were then statistically analysed. The main results show that farmers of Thessaly are willing to use recycled water and pay for such water resource, especially when there is water shortage in the region. On the other hand, citizens of Thessaly seem to be willing to accept recycled water being incorporated in water management plans of the region, if they have sufficient information regarding wastewater reuse practices in Greece.