Effects of Information on the Acceptance of Recycled Drinking Water: Evidence from a Lab Experiment

Water recycling is a matured technology and an important source of drinking water for water-scarce regions. However, the psychological barrier to drinking recycled water is well documented and governments actively seek for effective means to implement recycled drinking water, one of which is through public education and information campaigns. However, information is usually overwhelming and no consensus is reached which type of information is most effective in educating the public. 
This study aims to address the question: what type of information about recycled drinking water will lead to higher acceptance of it? We conducted an experimental auction with university students, and test the effect of two categories of information: technology of water recycling and environmental impacts of it, on the willingness to pay (WTP) for recycled drinking water. We find that detailed introduction of water processing technology increases the willingness to pay for recycled drinking water, but has no effect on desalinated water. Further, information about environmental benefits helps to fill the gap between the WTP for plain water and recycled water, and that of environmental detriments results in a larger discrepancy between drinking water substitutes.
Seminar Room 2-1
Manasseh Meyer
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
469C Bukit Timah Road
Singapore 259772
Wed 22 February 2017
12:15 PM - 01:30 PM

Dr Qian Neng

Dr Qian Neng

Dr Qian Neng, Research Fellow at the Institute of Water Policy, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.

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