Water Quality Trading Through the Wisconsin Water Quality Trading Clearinghouse
Article By: Chris Murphy, WQT Clearinghouse
The WQT Clearinghouse provides assistance to facilitate water quality trading. Water quality trading connects buyers (municipal wastewater treatment /stormwater facilities and private industry permittees) who need to buy pollutant reduction credits with sellers (landowners and agricultural producers) who can generate the pollutant reduction credits by installing best management practices that prevent soil erosion and storm water runoff.
The result of a Clearinghouse water quality trade is an agreement between a buyer and a seller where the cost of installing the best management practices and/or revenue for the land taken out of annual production may be fully paid for by the buyer. Types of projects that could benefit from water quality trading in the Clearinghouse are:
- Landowners who want to install a project but do not have enough funding to pay for it.
- Landowners who are looking for an alternative to current government programs.
- Expensive hard practices where cost-sharing funds could be combined with buyer payments to make the project feasible.
- Annual cropland to perennial forage: payments large enough to meet or exceed the net profit of annual crop production. The forage may also be harvested on an annual basis.
- Streambank stabilization projects.
If you know of projects that could benefit from water quality trading in the Wisconsin WQT Clearinghouse, please contact Chris Murphy, the Nutrient Trading Manager of the Clearinghouse at 608-844-3691, or send an email to email@example.com. The Clearinghouse does not profit from any transactions but does charge fees to cover the cost of operations. You can also learn more about water quality trading and the WI Water Quality Trading Clearinghouse at wiclearinghouse.org.