Data Instincts and Katz & Associates awarded contract to develop a model communication plan for public acceptance of direct potable reuse

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For Immediate Release
November 14, 2013

Mark Millan, Data Instincts
(707) 836-0300
Patricia Tennyson, Katz & Associates
(858) 926-4002


Windsor, CA – Data Instincts and Katz & Associates, two public outreach firms specializing in water reuse projects, announced they have been awarded a research grant from the WateReuse Research Foundation to develop a model communication plan for achieving public acceptance of direct potable reuse (DPR).

The project, valued at $560,231, will develop an implementable, strategic communication plan to achieve public acceptance of DPR in California, where the state has established a goal of reusing 1.5 million acre feet of water by 2020 and 2.5 million acre feet by 2030. WateReuse leaders and water planners believe DPR needs to be accepted as a water supply source if the state is to reach those reuse goals. The project will serve as a blueprint for developing statewide programs on a national level, with a specific focus on California.

Water reuse occurs in various ways throughout the state of California and the world. It happens daily on rivers and other water bodies everywhere. Scientifically proven advances in water technology allow communities to reuse water for many different purposes, including industrial, irrigation and drinking. When communities decide to purify the reused water for drinking, this is called potable reuse.  Direct potable reuse means the reused water is put directly into pipelines that go to a water treatment plant or distribution system, rather than into an environmental buffer such as an aquifer or reservoir (also known as indirect potable reuse).

“The goal of this research is to develop a blueprint for talking to people about the technology used to purify reused water,” said Mark Millan, principal of Data Instincts and principal investigator for the project. “We know there are challenges to widespread acceptance of reusing water in this way. We want to understand what people’s questions and concerns are, learn how to best address them, and provide the information and science that is needed for the public to understand and accept Potable Reuse as a safe and reliable water source.”

The Data Instincts project team will consist of Mark Millan as the principal investigator, and Patricia Tennyson, Vice President of Katz & Associates and Dr. Shane Snyder, University of Arizona serving as co-principal investigators. Jeffrey Mosher, Executive Director of the National Water Research Institute will serve as an internal advisor.

About the WateReuse Research Foundation

The WateReuse Research Foundation is an educational, non-profit public benefit corporation that serves as a centralized organization for the water and wastewater community to advance the science of water reuse, recycling, reclamation and desalination. The Foundation’s research covers a broad spectrum of issues, including chemical contaminants, microbiological agents, treatment technologies, salinity management, public perception, economics, and marketing. For more information, visit

About Data Instincts

Intelligent Communications for Challenging Public Projects: A professional consultancy dealing with Public Information and Public Involvement serving municipalities, counties, public agencies and engineering firms with public outreach efforts. Data Instincts has been involved with public outreach and education for recycled water projects including work with the following agencies; North Bay Water Reuse Authority, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency (Ground Water Replenishment), King County/Washington (Resource Recovery) and the cities of Redwood City, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, Windsor and Petaluma. More information can be found at

About Katz & Associates

Katz & Associates, Inc., is a full-service communication firm specializing in the development and implementation of public affairs programs to support public works and environmental projects.

With expertise in community relations, consensus building, stakeholder research, media relations, environmental review services, public process participation, government relations and coalition management, Katz & Associates has established a successful track record with such clients as the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, the City of San Diego Public Utilities Department, Santa Clara Valley Water District, San Diego County Water Authority, Orange County Water District, West Basin Municipal Water District, California Department of Water Resources, Southern Nevada Water Authority,  El Paso Water Utilities, U.S. Navy and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. More information can be found at