The wealth effect


Higher income is associated with more intense water resource impacts. Higher-income households use more water and are less sensitive to conservation pricing. More expensive homes also apply above-average amounts of  fertilizer and pesticides. Only expensive residential developments are able to build in wetlands and pass on the cost of mitigation credits ($75,000 or more per acre). 

Water conservation campaigns can preach that “every drop counts.” If you search for where the number of wasteful drops is the highest, however, you may end up at the homes that can most easily afford to invest in efficiency.

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