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Jim Meade / Iowa City
Senior Advisor

Water Quality Credit Trading

What do you know about trading water quality credits?  Apparently it's being done in a few places around the country, such as Oregon, Wisconsin, Florida and the Chesapeake Bay.

The farmer gets paid for conducting water quality practices.

 

http://www.usda.gov/oce/environmental_markets/water_trading.htm

http://water.epa.gov/type/watersheds/trading.cfm

 

Do any of you know what you can make from this deal?

 

I see some environmentalists are against it.  They claim water pollution action should be punitive and not incentivized.

http://harvestpublicmedia.org/content/water-markets-would-pay-farmers-cleaner-streams?utm_source=fee...

 

 

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12 Replies
sw363535
Honored Advisor

Re: Water Quality Credit Trading

Gotta love that logic,,,,

Punishment is the best way to change

Works in the penal system??????

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Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: Water Quality Credit Trading

Sounds like wetlands mitigation trading to me.  Ditto carbon credits, and purchase of development rights. Essentially, all let a bad actor get away with murder, by spending enoungh money to "offset" its sins by buying clean air, swampland, etc., in perpetuity. 

 

These programs may be the only way to make a bit of money off of farmland eventually...I have seen the PDRs used to help a farming heir stay in , by paying the others off with money from agreeing to farm forever. 

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k-289
Senior Advisor

Re: Water Quality Credit Trading

Credit trading seems a comparrison to the Fed Reserve buying it's own debt -  clever for a while  - with water it's all in the eye's of the polluter which is always someone else's fault ---  

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k-289
Senior Advisor

Re: Water Quality Credit Trading

SW  - See the folks in the Ogalla Aquifer to get  $8 million USDA initiative   - have you heard anything about this deal as 36 million acre feet drop in 24 months is a little unsettling event ---

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Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: Water Quality Credit Trading

Aquifer depletion is a nationwide concern.  Here in NC, the Castlehaine has been getting brackish further inland, due to the saltwater wedge seeking to fill the void.  

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sw363535
Honored Advisor

Re: Water Quality Credit Trading

K-289,

 

I am not up on that initiative.  There has been talk of paying something for the retirement of water rights for several years...

There are many acres of active water rights that lie in areas of limited water..... or water at the end of its irrigation usefullness.

 

The whole legal area of personal property rights is very interesting.  The "Waters of America" legislation comes to mind.

A friend was telling me a couple of days ago that in Austrailia mineral rights do not go with the land.  They in fact, belong to the government(public ownership) and the right to take or remove those minerals as well, and as reported there is not much responsibility for damages created by the removal...

 

interesting side note..... Also he reported that if a tree grows in your field, no matter the size of that field, you are not allowed to remove it.  You must farm around it and any other small trees that might have sprouted in that field.  If it dies and falls over, it cannot be removed, it must lay where it falls.....    

Can an Aussie confirm this for me..??  If one is reading.

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k-289
Senior Advisor

Re: Water Quality Credit Trading

Removing shelter belts here was an idea that has had some after thoughts  --- 

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sw363535
Honored Advisor

Re: Water Quality Credit Trading

Any governmental input on the water aquifer in Ks is 40+ years too late..... IMO,  as it relates to water.... And I think the present "Let it play itself out" is not a bad direction....  It is gradually stopping water use while there is still some available in smaller quantities....anything under 250-300 gallon a minute isn't paying its expenses... 

The drilling, pump, and service companies are pretty much at a standstill...  except for a few redrills on damaged casings...

Sub $4 corn has pretty well halted spending on such things unless necessary..

 

Most every proposal now is basically a subsidy to help with the land devaluation.  Those willing to give up water rights have been out of water for some time.... and 8 mil. is not going to do much more than assist with this years property taxes..  or pay the salaries of the state employees who handle the paperwork..

 

 

The most contraversial issue, as i have stated before, is the sale of land in Ks.  Water rights are so difficult to evaluate for an investment, and are so easily misrepresented (especially by using state recorded history).  

 

Jim,

Sorry this diverted from the original post on water quality credits...  

It is somewhat human nature isn't it?  We create laws and rules then create a way to buy ourselves out of compliance..

 

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k-289
Senior Advisor

Re: Water Quality Credit Trading

Sustainability is always the  $64,000  question ---