In It Together
Watersheds across the United States have used different forms of water quality trading over the last decades as a flexible tool for meeting water quality goals. The successes, failures, and valuable lessons learned gathered by pioneering groups can be instrumental in helping new trading programs lay the groundwork for success.
Those lessons have been gathered in In It Together: A How-To Reference for Building Point-Nonpoint Water Quality Trading Programs. This report, prepared for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Office of Environmental Markets, incorporates these lessons, with existing resources from USDA, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and others, into this how-to reference (as part of USDA's ongoing efforts to advance market-based solutions as important tools for landowners implementing conservation practices).
In it Together was produced by Willamette Partnership, Pinchot Institute for Conservation, and World Resources Institute. The report is divided into three parts:
Part 1 presents an overview and current status of point-nonpoint water quality trading programs and serves as a primer. It summarizes existing water quality trading programs for newcomers to the field.
Part II is a design reference for building and operating water quality trading programs that outlines how to move through each phase of trading program development and cites the milestones that will help program designers plan throughout the process.
Part III presents case study write-ups for water quality trading programs in North Carolina, the Pacific Northwest, and the Chesapeake Bay.
Opportunities for Action provides details on these recommendations.