Water quality trading is a cost-effective way to meet clean water goals and deliver multiple benefits for people, fish, and wildlife. Yet, compared to other environmental markets (think: carbon offsets), interest and demand for water quality credit trading have been slow to catch on.
The new report, “Breaking Down Barriers: Priority Actions for Advancing Water Quality Trading,” from the National Network on Water Quality Trading (“National Network”), investigates what’s keeping water quality trading on the sidelines and proposes a detailed action agenda to help get water quality trading on the ground in more watersheds across the United States.
The report’s action agenda is a multi-stakeholder plan to:
1. Simplify water quality trading program design and application.
2. Ensure state regulatory agencies have adequate capacity and resources to engage on water quality trading.
3. Clarify each administration’s and the U.S. EPA’s position on water quality trading;
4. Actively address real and perceived risks for buyers.
5. Identify and address risks of litigation.
6. Create guidance on trading for stormwater.
7. Build stakeholder relationships and trust.