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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Workshop offered for water quality

Thursday, August 20, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS -- Farmers, industry and municipalities can learn about a new tool for improving profits and water quality at a workshop in Indianapolis Aug. 26-27.

Water quality trading is a market-based approach to improve water quality. It is an innovative, voluntary tool that connects industrial and municipal facilities with agricultural producers or other landowners to economically achieve water quality improvements and to accommodate growth. It is a flexible and cost-effective approach for maintaining, restoring or enhancing water quality.

Together with its partners, Environmental Trading Network, the International Certified Crop Advisers and the Water Environment Federation, the Conservation Technology Information Center will host a Water Quality Credit Trading Workshop at the Crowne Plaza Indianapolis Airport Aug. 26-27.

Many agricultural producers already know the benefits of implementing conservation practices in their operations. Better soil, cleaner water and greater profits are just some of the advantages. What if producers could earn even more for these same conservation practices?

It's possible with water quality trading.

Water quality trading assigns economic value to the benefits generated by conservation practice implementation. Nitrogen and phosphorus in the soil are integral components of a producer's operation, but when excessive amounts of these substances run off fields, there is the potential to degrade water quality.

Conservation practices reduce excess pollutants and improve water quality conditions. In addition to reducing pollutants, well-managed agricultural conservation systems can also mitigate elevated water temperatures and loss of wildlife habitat that can result from some land management practices.

These improvements to water quality achieved through conservation practices are a valuable commodity that a producer can trade with an industrial or municipal facility that is required by law to reduce the amount of the same pollutants in its wastewater. The producer then gets paid for the trade, which can encourage even more conservation practices are installed, and compensates the farmer for taking land out of production.

Through this interactive, two-day workshop, the Conservation Technology Information Center and its partners aim to increase awareness of water quality trading and improve understanding of the voluntary process among agricultural producers and their advisors, wastewater treatment representatives and potential "aggregators" (organizations that serve as a kind of broker, facilitating trading).

Expert speakers will include Environmental Protection Agency representatives, water quality trading policy and program design experts, credit aggregators, wastewater treatment plant representatives and agriculture representatives. They will introduce the concepts, benefits and challenges of trading and the steps involved in developing a trading program.

The training will include breakout sessions to give participants specific skills to develop or participate in a trading program. Case studies from will be highlighted so participants can learn from existing trading programs.

Registration for the event costs $75.

To register, log on to www.conservationformation.org.

Certified Crop Advisers can earn eight Continuing Education Credits.

For more information, call the Conservation Technology Information Center at 765-494-9555 or log on to ctic@conservationinformation.org.

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