Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Geography, Environment and Planning

Major Professor

Fenda Akiwumi, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Joni Downs, Ph.D.

Committee Member

E. Christian Wells, Ph.D.


Awareness, Behavior, Recycled Water, Risk, Trust, Wastewater


In response to water supply depletion challenges, countries such as Australia, the United States, and Namibia have implemented technologies that treat wastewater up to the standards permissible to use for irrigation, toilet flushing, and even drinking water. However, many of these countries have been unable to successfully implement some of their ambitious reclaimed water reuse projects due to negative public perceptions of recycling wastewater. The focus of this study was to understand which factors in risk perception theory are the most influential in shaping community perceptions of reclaimed water reuse as a future source of drinking water within Hillsborough County. The research design was comprised of a mixed methodology approach (quantitative and qualitative analyses). The methods for assessing how each of the five main factors played a role in shaping risk perception in each of the communities was comprised of three main analyses, including spatial, statistical (through multiple regression modelling in R), and personal interview data (an HOA leader, one key informant, and a focus group). Residents (n=417) from various neighborhoods were interviewed through surveys which will evaluate factors found in literature that have been shown to have the most effect in shaping risk perception theory.