This paper considers ways in which water undertakers in the USA have overcome problems associated with pre-conceived negative opinions regarding water recycling. Three key recycling sites in California were identified, and a survey of the principal players and stakeholders was undertaken. Research has indicated that outreach and educational programmes must be proactive in nature, focusing on the value of reclaimed water and emphasising the benefits to be gained from its use at an individual, community and environmental level. Recommendations are made regarding the format of public outreach programmes, stakeholder action plans and conclusions drawn regarding public opinion. Unless (and until) the concept is accepted by the general public, large-scale water-recycling projects, which ultimately include ingestion of the recycled product, are likely to fail.
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