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The Miami Conservancy District

New Success Stories

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Title: Great Miami River Watershed Water Quality Credit Trading Program

Grantee: The Miami Conservancy District

Year: 2005

Amount: $937,807

Project: Despite improvements in surface water quality over the last three decades within the Great Miami River Watershed (GMRW), over 40% of the rivers and streams still fail to meet Ohio’s water quality standards. The remaining impairment includes nutrient enrichment, excess sediment, and altered habitat due primarily to nonpoint source pollution, and are a significant source of nutrients in the Ohio River and the Gulf of Mexico. The project seeks to implement an innovative water quality trading program to address these water quality challenges. Interest in water quality credit trading grew from facilitated discussions which identified the mutual goals of producers and wastewater treatment plants. An extensive economic analysis of the viability of trading in the GMRW indicated more than $350 million in potential savings to communities while providing nearly $40 million dollars to invest in agricultural BMPs.

Results: As of May 2014, 397 agricultural projects have been contracted generating more than 1.14 million credits over the life of the projects. More than 1.6 million dollars will be paid to agricultural producers for these credits. This translates to a 572 ton reduction in nutrient discharges to rivers and streams and other benefits including more sustainable farming operations and an array of ancillary environmental benefits.