Valuable water


  • Michael Carlowicz


In some places, money flows with water. Studying both the water quality and property values around 22 lakes in south-central Maine, Kevin Boyle and Holly James of the University of Maine and Roy Bouchard of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection have found that good water quality makes waterfront property even more valuable. To gauge water quality, the researchers used Secchi disks to measure the clarity of the water at depth. They also reviewed 543 lakefront property sales between 1990 and 1994 to determine how values correlated with changing water conditions. The group also considered such factors as lake frontage, sizes of the houses and lots, and size of the lake.