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Drought psychology: Convincing wealthy communities to conserve




Aerial view overlooking landscaping on April 4, 2015 in Rancho Santa Fe, California.
Aerial view overlooking landscaping on April 4, 2015 in Rancho Santa Fe, California.
Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

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When Gov. Jerry Brown called for 25 percent water cutbacks in April, most communities complied. 

One exception: Rancho Santa Fe, a very wealthy community in San Diego County where water consumption spiked nine percent after the request. As of July 1, residents there face water rationing for the first time ever. Water bills could triple for violators, and the water district might even install flow restrictors, or even turn off the water.

Residents are -- to put it mildly -- resistant to these new rules. So, how to get them on board? For the answer, we turned to Joe Priester, who teaches social psychology and marketing at USC's Marshall School of Business.