One of the obstacles many conservation strategies face is the amount of time and money it actually costs for people t o be involved in their implementation - in other words, their "transaction costs" (TCs) . A new study from China has looked at how these costs have affected an innovative market-based water conservation system. The study found that TCs are a significant barrier to proper functioning of the system. It also found that these costs are linked to key social and administrative obstacles. In light of this, the study advises that to reduce TCs - and improve the implementation of the water conservation system - these social and administrative problems must be tackled head on.