Senior authorship is shared equally.
Rhetoric and Reality of Water Quality Trading and the Potential for Market-like Reform1
Article first published online: 18 OCT 2010
© 2010 American Water Resources Association
JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association
Volume 47, Issue 1, pages 15–28, February 2011
How to Cite
Stephenson, K. and Shabman, L. (2011), Rhetoric and Reality of Water Quality Trading and the Potential for Market-like Reform. JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 47: 15–28. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.2010.00492.x
Paper No. JAWRA-09-0175-P of the Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA). Discussions are open until six months from print publication.
- Issue published online: 27 JAN 2011
- Article first published online: 18 OCT 2010
- Received November 18, 2009; accepted September 8, 2010.
- water quality economics;
- water policy;
- point and nonpoint pollution
Stephenson, Kurt and Leonard Shabman, 2011. Rhetoric and Reality of Water Quality Trading and the Potential for Market-Like Reform. Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA) 47(1):15-28. DOI: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.2010.00492.x
Abstract: Many public interest groups, government agencies, and professional economists argue that current approaches to water quality trading are a cost-effective, politically practical innovation for achieving water quality standards, in part by addressing one of the most difficult water quality improvement challenges – limiting the discharge from nonpoint sources. A critical analysis shows that these claims for current water quality trading programs are often unrealized. This rhetoric, without adherence to principles of market-like reform, can undermine the support of regulated parties for meaningful water quality policy reform, contribute to missed opportunities to implement cost-effective programs, and postpone successfully meeting the challenge of limiting nonpoint source discharges. A better understanding and application of market-like principles can result in an improved design of trading as well as general water quality management programs.