NSW: Wastewater to drinking water – community acceptance

NSW Division event

Event details

Thursday 27 August 2020

12:30–2pm AEST


If you have any further questions regarding the webinar, Zoom, or have joining issues, please contact Ash Dunston at info@atse.org.au

Are Australians ready to accept treated wastewater for drinking?

We are pleased to invite Fellows and friends to a webinar exploring this vital question, which we must address if we are to avoid severe water restrictions in some capital cities and regional cities and towns during the next drought.

In addressing our future urban water needs, a significant potential source of water is available from wastewater treatment and this appears to be more economic than desalination. However, to implement the infrastructure necessary, a “social licence” is required from the community.

Before technical and economic considerations are further developed for projects, this first hurdle needs to be overcome.

Join our three specialists to hear what is needed to obtain this community acceptance:

  • Associate Professor Kelly Fielding: Critical barriers to the public acceptance of wastewater recycled to drinking water
  • Dr Amit Chanan: Wastewater recycling in our cities: Can the abyss be crossed in one step?
  • Associate Professor Katherine Daniell: Navigating politics, cultures and values underlying social licensing for wastewater re-use.


Kelly Fielding

Associate Professor Kelly Fielding is an Associate Professor in the School of Communication and Arts at the University of Queensland. Her research focuses on the psychology of environmental sustainability with a particular interest in the social and psychological dimensions of urban water management. Kelly has led multidisciplinary projects investigating household water demand management, public perceptions and communication about alternative water sources, and how to effectively engage communities with water sustainability. She serves on a number of advisory committees including the Healthy Land and Water social scientific expert panel and the Seqwater research advisory group.


Dr Amit Chananis an experienced senior executive with a career spanning over two decades within the international water industry and infrastructure services. He is currently the Director City Projects and Property with The City of Sydney in Australia. Amit leads the City’s centre of excellence in infrastructure delivery, responsible for developing and delivering major infrastructure projects to realise Council’s strategic intent. Amit is a Member of the Advisory Board to UNESCO, under its International Hydrological Program.

katherine daniell

Associate Professor Katherine Daniell is Interim Associate Dean (Education) in the College of Engineering and Computer Science at the Australian National University, Research Lead at the 3A Institute, and an Associate Professor at the ANU’s Fenner School of Environment and Society. Trained in engineering, arts, water management and public policy, Katherine’s research and impact is driven by collaborative approaches to policy, education and action for more sustainable forms of development. Her recent projects, primarily in the Asia-Pacific region and Europe, have focussed on human relationships to emerging technologies, international science and technology cooperation, policy analytics, water governance, risk management, sustainable urban development and climate change adaptation. She currently serves as a member of the National Committee on Water Engineering (Engineers Australia) and Director and Board Member of the Peter Cullen Water and Environment Trust.