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PRELIMINARY ANALYSIS OF WATER QUALITY TRADING OPPORTUNITIES IN THE GREAT MIAMI RIVER WATERSHED, OHIO

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  Watershed Management to Meet Water Quality Standards and Emerging TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) Proceedings of the Third Conference 5-9 March 2005 (Atlanta, Georgia USA) Publication Date 5 March 2005  701P0105.(doi:10.13031/2013.18044)
Authors:   F. Fang, M. S. Kieser, D. L. Hall, N. C. Ott, and S. C. Hippensteel
Keywords:   Water quality trading, SWAT model, credit supply and demand

This preliminary analysis evaluated biophysical and economic aspects of the Great Miami River basin, Ohio to assess nutrient point-nonpoint source water quality trading opportunities in the watershed. The analysis focused on 1) conducting a nonpoint source modeling analysis to assess agriculture credit supply on the subwatershed level for the Great Miami River watershed using the GIS-interfaced SWAT model; 2) assessing and comparing the costs of point source load reductions via traditional in-plant facility upgrades to the costs of comparable load reductions by agricultural nonpoint source management practices; and 3) analyzing cost savings and load reductions potentially achieved through the proposed point source-nonpoint source trading program. Results indicate that phosphorus credit demand and most of the nitrogen credit demand by point sources can be met by nonpoint sources through the implementation of the no-till management practices on 50% of the row crops in the watershed. It was estimated that on average, point sources will pay $23.37 to reduce one pound of phosphorus with biological nutrient removal compared to $1.08 for agriculture with no-till. For nitrogen, point source unit costs are $4.72/pound compared to $0.45/pound for agriculture. This analysis concluded that water quality trading in the Great Miami River watershed had the potential to provide significant cost savings over traditional command and control approaches.

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