EPA Releases Handbook to Help Managers Achieve Cleaner Watersheds

Nov. 17, 2004

Water quality trading has gained attention as an effective market-based approach for state and local governments to achieve cleaner water.

Because the concept of water trading is relatively new and not commonly practiced, water quality managers may want to know if trading will work in their local watershed.

EPA's new Water Quality Trading Assessment Handbook is designed to help determine if trading can be used to make cost-effective pollutant reductions and determine whether trading may be the appropriate tool.

Using a hypothetical river basin, the handbook illustrates a framework that may be used as a model in any watershed to evaluate problems and determine if trading could effectively address those local conditions.

The handbook also illustrates how to assess the relative costs of controlling key pollutants and helps the user decide if trading would be financially attractive to watershed participants.

General information about water quality trading and the handbook is available at www.epa.gov/owow/watershed/trading.htm.

Source: EPA