Organizations & Tools

Trading Organizations

  • National Water Quality Trading Alliance (NWQTA):

    • “A national consortium of leaders from the business, governmental, non-profit and regulated community focused on enhancing and expanding market-based opportunities for improving water quality and accelerating the restoration of watersheds. NWQTA works to support comprehensive and coherent government rules and policies on trading as well as the development of new and existing state and regional trading markets, while serving as a platform to advance the science and ecological effectiveness of water quality trading.”
    • NWQTA In Action.
    • NWQTA Latest News.
  • National Network on Water Quality Trading (NNWQT):

    • NNWQT represents diverse organizations including agriculture, wastewater utilities, environmental groups, regulatory agencies, and the practitioners delivering water quality trading programs, and "develops collaborative products that can benefit the water quality trading community and advance Network goals of consistency, innovation, and integrity."
    • Water Quality Trading Products from NNWQT.
    • Participant Resources.
  • Ecosystem Services Market Consortium: ESMC -The ESMC is a non-profit focused on compensating agricultural producers for generating environmental assets through agricultural practices. ESMC members represent the spectrum of the agricultural sector supply chain with whom we are scaling sustainable agricultural sector outcomes, including increased soil carbon, reduced net greenhouse gases, and improved water quality and water use conservation.

WQT Trading Tools

Conservation Practice and BMP Benefits Quantification Tools

  • Nutrient Trading Tool (NTT):A tool to estimate nutrient and sediment losses from crop and pasture. NTT was developed by the Texas Institute for Applied Environmental Research (TIAER) at Tarleton State University with funding and technical support from USDA’s Office of Environmental Markets.

  • Spreadsheet Tool for Estimating Pollutant Loads STEPL: An EPA spreadsheet tool that utilizes simple algorithms to calculate nutrient and sediment loads from different land uses and the load reductions that would result from the implementation of various best management practices (BMPs).

  • Chesapeake Bay Nutrient Trading Tool (CBNTT): The Chesapeake Bay Nutrient Trading Tool (CBNTT) was updated and recalibrated in 2020. CBNTT v. 3 is based on the Agricultural Policy Environmental eXtender (APEX) Model version 806 and the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Model Phase 6.

  • SPARROW SPARROW: SPARROW (SPAtially Referenced Regression On Watershed attributes) models estimate the amount of a contaminant transported from inland watersheds to larger water bodies by linking monitoring data with information on watershed characteristics and contaminant sources. Interactive, online SPARROW mapping tools allow for easy access to explore relations between human activities, natural processes, and contaminant transport.

  • Soil Nutrient Application Planner (SNAP) PLUS SNAP: SNAP (Soil Nutrient Application Planner) Plus is Wisconsin’s nutrient management planning software and primary tool for Wisconsin's WQT program. The program helps farmers make the best use of their on-farm nutrients, as well as make informed and justified commercial fertilizer purchases. By calculating potential soil and phosphorus runoff losses on a field-by-field basis while assisting in the economic planning of manure and fertilizer applications, SnapPlus provides Wisconsin farmers with a tool for protecting soil and water quality.

  • Water Quality Index for Agricultural Runoff WQIag: WQIag is a tool developed as part of a continuum of NRCS water quality assessment tools. The WQIag was specifically designed to provide a score to describe the spectrum of characterstics of water quality present in agricultural runoff. To date, this tool has been considered for several ecosystem services and supply chain analysis purposes.

Stormwater and Green Infrastructure BMP Benefits Quantification Tools

  • D.C. Stormwater Retention Credit Trading Program SCR Program: The quantification process for determining stormwater retention credits in Washington D.C.'s Stormwater Retention Credit Trading Program

  • Stormwater Nitrogen and Phosphorus (SNAP) SNAP: Stormwater Nutrient Accounting Tools SNAP (Stormwater Nitrogen and Phosphorus) v4.1 is a project-scale tool for modeling nitrogen and phosphorus in stormwater runoff from development sites and nutrient reductions provided by stormwater treatment in North Carolina. As of October 2018, it is the approved tool for regulatory compliance with stormwater requirements of the Falls and Jordan nutrient strategies, and for alternative riparian buffer mitigation compliance in all watersheds with buffer regulations.

    WQT Registry Tools

    • RIBITS: Regulatory In-lieu Fee and Bank Information Tracking System: RIBITS
    • Originally developed by the US Army Corps of Engineers to track stream and wetland mitigation banks and credits, RIBITS has expanded its scope to include Water Quality Trading Programs. To date, this includes Virginia's WQT program and Iowa's Nutrient Reduction Exchange.

    • MarIt Environmental Registry: MarkIt Environmental Registry:
    • Allows account holders to manage all their environmental credits - carbon, water, ecosystem, biodiversity - in one place.

    • Pennsylvania Nutrient Trading: Pennsylvania Nutriewt Trading
    • Online resource for reducing watershed nutrient runoff, developed by the World Resource Institute - Nutrient Net Brochure.

Watershed Assessment Tools

  • Agricultural Policy/Environmental eXtender [APEX](,productivity%20as%20affected%20by%20erosion.): developed to extend EPIC’s capabilities of simulating management and land use impacts for whole farms and small watersheds. EPIC (Environmental Policy Integrated Climate model) is a cropping systems model that was developed to estimate soil productivity as affected by erosion. APEX was constructed to evaluate various land management strategies considering sustainability, erosion (wind, sheet, and channel), economics, water supply and quality, soil quality, plant competition, weather, and pests. -APEX functions on a daily time step and can simulate hundreds of years for approximately one hundred different crops. It can be configured for land management strategies such as irrigation, drainage, furrow diking, buffer strips, terraces, waterways, fertilization, manure management, lagoons, reservoirs, crop rotation and selection, pesticide application, grazing, and tillage. The routing of water, sediment, nutrient, and pesticide capabilities are some of the most comprehensive available in current landscape-scale models and can be simulated between subareas and channel systems within the model.

  • Soil & WaterAssessment Tool+ SWAT+: The Soil & Water Assessment Tool is a small watershed to river basin-scale model used to simulate the quality and quantity of surface and ground water and predict the environmental impact of land use, land management practices, and climate change. SWAT is widely used in assessing soil erosion prevention and control, non-point source pollution control and regional management in watersheds.

Other Water Quality Assessment Tools

  • EnviroAtlas EnviroAtlas:

    Stormwater and Green Infrastructure BMP Benefits Quantification Tools

    -EnviroAtlas is part of an ongoing commitment to sustainable and healthy communities and safe and sustainable water resources. EnviroAtlas was developed collaboratively by EPA in partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and other federal and non-profit organizations, universities, and communities including state, county, and city-level stakeholders. -EnviroAtlas provides geospatial data, easy-to-use tools, and other resources related to ecosystem services, their stressors, and human health.

  • LandServer LandServer:

    • Web-based tool that provides farmers and woodland owners with a quick and easy natural resource assessment, an evaluation of their property's potential to receive payments for implementing conservation actions, and information on how to get started.