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Welcome to the Forum on Water Quality Payments

The Purpose of this Forum is to build capacity around water markets and specifically market mechanisms and water-quality trading in the Chesapeake Bay, in other watersheds in the US and around the globe.


There are at least 150 oxygen-deprived dead zones in estuaries and coastal areas around the world; primarily caused by human activity. Caught in time, natural systems are able to recover from this degraded state. In tandem with existing regulatory requirements, many believe that water markets, like the successful carbon markets that evolved over the past decade, are poised to become the next successful, market-based conservation tool of our time.


The Chesapeake Bay, a watershed struggling to reverse years of declining water quality, has several characteristics that make it a prime region to focus on water markets and water-quality trading including: a high level of public awareness and concern for the health of the Bay; river-specific clean up plans to meet pollution caps; initial experience in water-quality trading and the development of a regulatory, Bay-wide pollution budget required by the Clean Water Act.


Over the next few weeks, as a lead up to the Katoomba Chesapeake meetings, we invite you to take part in this moderated discussion to:

  • Expand base knowledge of markets and trading and set the context for water-quality trading in the Chesapeake Bay watershed;
  • Discuss obstacles and opportunities for applying these approaches to a robust, voluntary market for water quality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed;
  • Explore a new concept for a trading scheme, provisionally called the Chesapeake Clean Water Fund, to address water quality in the Bay watershed. 


Start Now!