Water-scarce regions, including South Africa, have identified water reuse as one of the promising solutions to augment water supply to meet the ever-increasing demand for freshwater resources. However, public perceptions have been identified as a critical factor, which can either facilitate the success and acceptance of water reuse projects or become a formidable barrier. To address this challenge in South Africa, the National Strategy for Water Reuse calls for the development of a national communication strategy to promote understanding of water reuse and foster its public acceptance. This paper outlines the journey from consultation with stakeholders to development of a national communication strategy for water reuse in South Africa. The strategy has been crafted using a framework that is based on an understanding of the complex interplay of public opinions and perceptions of water reuse. The strategy targets public education and aims to empower the public to become water reuse literate. The framework used to develop the strategy is versatile, and capable of effectively addressing the multi-dimensional and context-specific aspects of water reuse.

  • The importance of public knowledge and attitudes (water literacy) in the implementation of water reuse.

  • The importance of a communication strategy in the implementation of water reuse.

  • The basic requirements for developing a communication strategy on water reuse?

  • The concepts of communication outcomes and sustainability in the implementation of the strategy.

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