Publication Date

Fall 2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Studies


Costanza Rampini; Katherine Cushing; Lakeisha Bryant


California is facing a water crisis that is impacting many of the state’s water sources such as groundwater basins, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, and the Colorado River Basin. Therefore, it is important to conserve water using water reuse technologies such as indirect potable reuse (IPR) that can reduce the severity of intense, long-term water scarcity and serve as a drought-proof water supply. Developing more IPR projects throughout California could mitigate the state’s water issues, however, implementing IPR has been a challenge for many California water agencies. Most of the research on challenges to IPR implementation discusses public opposition as the main factor hindering projects, however, there are only a few studies on other socioeconomic and technical factors that could be hindering implementation. This study analyzes socioeconomic and technical factors such as budget, funding, planning, and research. For this study, data was gathered by interviewing key informants in Orange and Santa Clara Counties to determine what has made Orange County’s IPR successful and what is delaying Santa Clara County from completing the Purified Water Project. Key informants were selected by researching the agencies and water professionals responsible for IPR in the two counties. A total of 37 semi-structured interviews were conducted, 18 with Orange County key informants and 19 with Santa Clara key informants. The data collected from the interviews was then analyzed using NVivo software to identify common themes and topics discussed.