For the second week in a row, I’d like to recommend some reading material: State of Watershed Payments. This publication by Ecosystem Marketplace provides the best summary of money exchanged for watershed services that I’ve found to date.
My favorite section of the report is IV. Water Quality Trading Programs (see image above). Although this market is still in its infancy, I believe water quality trading has great potential to provide market solutions to water quality problems. The report provides a detailed overview of the market and highlights its current trading status.
I didn’t like
My greatest disappoint in the report is its failure to address my beloved water quantity market. Darn! Based on my initial inquiry to this missing water component, it appears the complexities of water western water rights made this topic too cumbersome to include. This doesn’t come as a surprise in this highly fragmented and localized market that can vary greatly from basin to basin, agency to agency, office to office, state to state, stream to stream, aquifer to aquifer, etc.
Personally, I’d like to see the overall water quantity market develop the standards and structures being established in these other markets (carbon, wetlands, species biodiversity, etc.). Not so it will land on the pages of future ecosystem marketplace reports, but instead to create a greater efficiency for water quantity trades.