This research is being conducted by Dr. Kristal Jones and colleagues at the University of Maryland, College Park.  We are inviting you to participate in this research project because we would like to understand consumer preferences around food, water and the use of nontraditional irrigation water for food production. The procedures involve answering questions on a survey (there are 45 questions in total).  The survey will be completed on a digital tablet. The survey will take you about 15 minutes to complete.

Sample questions include (all are answered on a five-point scale from strongly disagree to strongly agree):

  • In general, I buy food that has been produced in ways that are sustainable for the environment
  • I have personally experienced the impacts of lack of water or drought (e.g. water use restrictions)

There may be some risks from participating in this research study. You might feel uncomfortable about the risks associated with nontraditional irrigation water. You will be able to skip any question you do not feel comfortable answering, and you can withdraw from the survey at any time. We will also be available to answer any questions and to provide more material about any of the questions that you see on the survey.

There are no direct benefits to participants. Broader benefits of this research include understanding consumers’ concerns about re-used and nontraditional irrigation water, and identifying the types of information that consumers would be interested in having in order to make decisions about produce grown with this type of water. This information is important as re-used water becomes an increasingly important irrigation source with increasing climate variability.

Any potential loss of confidentiality will be minimized by storing digital data in a password-protected folder and paper-copy data in a locked file drawer. Only the principle investigators of this project will have access to the raw data, and students working on the project will have access to anonymized data.

If we write a report or article about this research project, your identity will be protected to the maximum extent possible.  Your information may be shared with representatives of the University of Maryland, College Park or governmental authorities if you or someone else is in danger or if we are required to do so by law.

Your participation in this research is completely voluntary.  You may choose not to take part at all.  If you decide to participate in this research, you may stop participating at any time.  If you decide not to participate in this study or if you stop participating at any time, you will not be penalized or lose any benefits to which you otherwise qualify.

If you are an employee or student at UMD, your grades, standing or employability at UMD will not be positively or negatively affected by your decision to participate in the study.

If you decide to stop taking part in the study, if you have questions, concerns, or complaints, or if you need to report an injury related to the research, please contact the investigator:

Kristal Jones, PI


If you have questions about your rights as a research participant or wish to report a research-related injury, please contact:

University of Maryland College Park

Institutional Review Board Office

1204 Marie Mount Hall

College Park, Maryland, 20742


Telephone: 301-405-0678