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Addressing Risk and Uncertainty in Water Quality Trading Markets

January 1, 2014

Across the United States, water quality trading is being explored as a mechanism for reducing the costs of cleaning up impaired waterbodies. Trading between point sources, such as wastewater treatment plants, and nonpoint sources, such as agriculture, can cut costs for regulated entities needing to reduce pollutants, and generate revenue for agricultural producers who generate credits. However, water quality trading, particularly between point and nonpoint sources, can face inherent uncertainties around quantification of nonpoint source reductions, participant behavior, regulations, and market supply and demand. Effectively addressing uncertainties is crucial to ensuring the success of these markets and improving water quality. This paper establishes a framework from which to engage federal and state agencies, program developers, and stakeholders in a dialogue about these uncertainties and appropriate mechanisms for addressing them.

Nutrient Trading in the Chesapeake Bay Region: An Analysis of Supply and Demand

January 1, 2010

This report provides an overview of nutrient trading programs as they currently exist in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and examines the potential for supply and demand of credits within those markets. In addition, the analysis considers the potential impacts of Bay-wide Total Maximum Daily Loads on nutrient trading - particularly those on the agricultural sector's ability to generate credits.