Kerri Jean Ormerod, PhD

Assistant Professor
Kerri Jean Ormerod

Contact Information


  • Ph.D., Geography, University of Arizona, Tucson, 2015
  • M.A., Geography, University of Arizona, Tucson, 2010
  • B.A., Interdisciplinary Field Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 2006


I  am a human-environment geographer interested in the relationship between water resources, environmental governance, and science and technology. As a political ecologist, my research examines the politics of environmental policy, particularly the prospect of potable water recycling. The potential to supplement the potable water supply with highly treated municipal wastewater is of interest to water managers and planners in many parts of the world. Seen as an option of last resort as recently as the late 1990s, today engineers commonly consider potable water reuse projects to be as safe as, if not safer than, conventionally sourced drinking water supplies. Nevertheless, currently only a few cities across the world intentionally augment drinking water supplies with highly treated wastewater. In my research I seek to understand how perceptions of sound policy are informed by competing notions of common sense. 

Research Areas of Interest

Environmental governance, drought hazards, socio-cultural components of risk perception, urbanization, sanitation, infrastructure, and common sense.

For current CV, please email faculty directly at

Class Materials


Selected Publications

Ormerod KJ. (2017). Common sense principles governing potable water recycling in the southwestern US: Examining subjectivity of water stewards using Q methodology. Geoforum (86) 76-85. Available online:    

Ormerod, KJ,  Silvia, L. (2017). Newspaper Coverage of Potable Water Recycling at Orange County Water District's Groundwater Replenishment System, 2000-2016. Water, 9(12), 984. Available online:

Ormerod, KJ., McAfee, S. A. (2017). Nevada's Weather and Climate (Factsheet-17-04 ed.). University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. Available online: 

Ormerod, KJ. 2016. Illuminating elimination: public perception and the production of potable water reuse. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water 3(4):537-547. Available online:

Akhter, M., and K. J. Ormerod. 2015. The irrigation technozone: State power, expertise, and agrarian development in the U.S. West and British Punjab, 1880-1920. Geoforum 60:123-132. Available online:

Ormerod, K. J., and C. A. Scott. 2013. Drinking Wastewater: Public Trust in Potable Reuse. Science, Technology, & Human Values 38(3):351-373.

Meehan, K., K. J. Ormerod, and S. Moore. 2013. Remaking waste as water: the governance of recycled effluent for potable water supply. Water Alternatives 6(1):67-85. Available online:

Scott, C. A., C. J. Bailey, R. P. Marra, G. J. Woods, K. J. Ormerod, and K. Lansey. 2012. Scenario planning to address critical uncertainties for robust and resilient water-wastewater infrastructures under conditions of water scarcity and rapid development. Water 4(4):848-868. Available online:

Ormerod, K. J. 2012. Environmental Operations Park. In Guidelines for water reuse, ed. United States Environmental Protection Agency. Office of Wastewater Management. Washington, DC: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: U.S. Agency for International Development; National Risk Management Research Laboratory. Available online:

Browning-Aiken, A. K. J. Ormerod, and C. A. Scott 2011. Testing the Climate for Non-Potable Water Reuse: Opportunities and Challenges in Water-Scarce Urban Growth Corridors. Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning 3(3):253-275.

Akhter, M., K. J. Ormerod, and C. A. Scott. 2010. Lost in Translation: Resilience, Social Agency, and Water Planning in Tucson, Arizona. Critical Planning 17:47-65.