The National Network develops collaborative products that can benefit the water quality trading community and advance Network goals of consistency, innovation, and integrity.
Over the past two years, the Network’s dialogue has focused on identifying common trading issues and the options, considerations, and examples important to building a trading program. The following materials are products of that dialogue.
Building a Water Quality Trading Program walks through 11 key elements many trading programs consider in their design, with examples, options, and clear pros and cons for program design to help stakeholders build a program that meets local needs. For each of these elements, there is no “one size fits all solution.” Instead, there are considerations that make different options more or less viable under different conditions.
Water quality trading programs are still evolving and must adapt to ever-changing circumstances and requirements, so this is a “living” document, open to additions and updates.
These stakeholder summaries were written by National Network participants, each one authored by a member of a different stakeholder community – agriculture, clean water utilities, environmental advocates, regulatory agencies, and trading practitioners. The summaries provide an overview of why members of that community would care about trading, opportunities and challenges for participation, the roles that they are likely to play, and the critical issues affecting those communities most.
Clean Water Community
State and Interstate Water Quality Administrators
The contributors to the National Network engaged in an extensive dialogue to develop the publication, Building a Water Quality Trading Program: Options and Considerations, and believe that it represents a comprehensive, contextual, balanced, and robust collection of information on different, representative water quality trading programs. New and evolving water quality trading programs should look to this document as an important source of information as they build and update their trading programs.
This document does not represent a consensus opinion, endorsement, or particular recommendation from any one National Network contributor. It seeks to cover the broad range of topics related to water quality trading to assist local stakeholders to develop and implement trading frameworks that meet local needs and conditions. This document does not create any binding requirements or standards of practice. Ultimately, local stakeholders, state regulators, and/or U.S. EPA will clarify those requirements that apply to any particular trading programs or trading program participants.
Water Quality Trading and Federal Farm Policy
The National Network has identified “supportive policy” as an important aspect of successful water quality trading programs. In the Network’s first analysis of federal policy, individuals from the Network Steering Committee and guests brainstormed ideas for ways existing federal farm programs could better support water quality trading.
This summary is a gathering of initial ideas organized under the important factors shaping success in markets for water quality:
- Clear demand: Clarity in water quality goals, authority to use market-based approaches, and willingness of buyers and the private sector to invest in water quality;
- Clear risk: The policies and people clearly manage risk so that the private sector and buyers want to participate; and
- Clear path: The tools, systems, and capacity needed to develop and support markets.
Economic Approaches to Green Stormwater Infrastructure
This report is designed to help stormwater program managers leverage market forces for implementation and investment in green infrastructure. It is based upon discussion at the National Network 2016 fall dialogue, covering the motivations that drive investment in stormwater infrastructure; a set of program options that work with market forces for more effective and efficient investment in stormwater infrastructure; the issues that limit these approaches; and ways to get beyond these hurdles. It was written by Storm & Stream Solutions LLC and Willamette Partnership, with collaboration from WEF’s Stormwater Institute. It benefited from expert review by the workshop conveners - Mami Hara and Paula Conolly of the Green Infrastructure Exchange and Dan Vizzini of Oregon Solutions and Willamette Partnership - as well as numerous dialogue participants.
The Water Quality Trading Toolkit
Willamette Partnership and the Association of Clean Water Administrators(ACWA) are proud to announce the release of five water quality trading policy templates. The templates make it faster and easier to develop transparent and accountable water quality trading programs that drive meaningful investment toward achieving clean water goals. The templates go along with the National Network on Water Quality Trading publication, Building a Water Quality Trading Program: Options and Considerations, to provide a blueprint for those states and organizations seeking to create a water quality trading program.
Water Quality Trading Toolkit – Version 1.0 (August 2016) consists of five templates that work in concert with each other: state guidance, watershed framework, state rule, NPDES permit, and program annual report. The templates can be used as a starting point, a checklist of important considerations, or customizable sample language.
In the coming months, ACWA will continue to provide guidance, advice, and assistance filling in the Toolkit templates based on the context and trading objectives of particular states and organizations. ACWA and Willamette would like to thank USDA and EPA for supporting this project, and all the state agency representatives and other stakeholders that helped review and refine the Toolkit.
We welcome your thoughts, feedback, and experience applying the first version of the Toolkit.