Investments in innovative wastewater systems need to be financed through taxpayers’ money or water charges, depending on a country’s regulatory framework. In either case, citizens, who will eventually benefit from these investments, will have to bear the cost of these new investments.
Citizens’ attitudes, preferences and willingness to pay (WTP) for upgrading wastewater infrastructures to cope with the effects from climate change has not been studied in-depth. The ALICE project is advancing research in this area by exploring the use of diverse methods, namely revealed preferences, stated preferences and experimental economics to explore social behaviour for the attributes of innovative urban wastewater systems. As many wastewater reuse projects have failed to win public acceptance, ALICE explores how “nudges” for behaviour change can facilitate the public acceptance of water reuse.
Water-related issues are becoming a limiting factor for sustainable economic growth and require a collaborative and interdisciplinary approach, to foster innovative solutions. Lorenzo Compagnucci and Francesca Spigarelli from the University of Macerata in Italy (Alice project partners) have published a paper, which is an evidence-based contribution to understanding Triple Helix Model (THM) relations and the path to innovation policy in the water sector. The analysis focuses on the interaction between university–industry–government, with specific reference to the Murcia region in Southeast Spain. This region combines a chronic shortage of water and a leading role for agriculture. Starting from the experience of a researcher, working for the General Water Council of the Murcia Region, this paper is based on both desk research and in-depth personal interviews with representatives of THM actors. You can download and read the paper here Compagnucci, L.; Spigarelli, F. Fostering Cross-Sector Collaboration to Promote Innovation in the Water Sector. Sustainability 2018, 10, 4154.