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Number cruncher

Water and taxes

By Stephen Nickell   October 2009

There were two recent examples in the national press of how wrongheaded the analysis of figures can be. On 30th August, the Sunday Times carried an article about how the growth in the number of homes will increase the demand for water, according to research commissioned by the World Wide Fund for Nature. But how so? Do people who move into new homes wash themselves more often? The demand for water depends on the number of people, not on the number of homes. If a couple live with their parents because of a housing shortage, this does not save water.…

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