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COICA Statement to Governors’ Climate and Forests (GCF) Task Force


Saludamos esta junta anual del GCF, a nombre de la COICA, la organización legítima y representativa de 70 pueblos en aislamiento y 400 pueblos indígenas, con una columna vertebral territorial que parte de 5000 comunidades de base que se articulan en 400 federaciones locales y éstas en las confederaciones nacionales de los 09 países amazónicos como COIAB (Brasil), AIDESEP(Perú), OPIAC (Colombia), CIDOB (Bolivia), CONFENIAE (Ecuador), Venezuela (ORPIA), Guyana (APA), Surinam (OIS), Guyana Francesa (FOAG). Siendo la mayor red territorial indígena amazónica, situada a la vez en el mayor bloque forestal continuo, esto implica una responsabilidad estratégica de la amazonía indígena para ampliar la alianza de los pueblos indígenas de los bosques tropicales del mundo para afrontar desafíos de la gravísima crisis climática, sobre la base de nuestros derechos colectivos y libre determinación con Planes de Vida Plena en nuestra Territorialidad ancestral. Compartimos plenamente los principios y objetivos del Grupo de Trabajo de “Gobernadores sobre Clima y Bosques” (GCF), para reducir la deforestación en los gobiernos sub nacionales asociados en el GCF, especialmente de la Declaración de Río Branco ( Agosto, 2014) donde participamos activamente y el objetivo de “reducir deforestación en 80% al 2020 en los 26 estados subnacionales y desarrollo de mecanismos transparentes para que una parte substancial de los beneficios por reducción de emisiones se entregue a los pueblos indígenas”

The Regional Water Fund (FORAGUA): A Regional Program for the Sustainable Conservation of Watersheds and Biodiversity in Southern Ecuador

Renzo Paladines, Fabian Rodas, José Romero, Byron Swift, Luis López, and Matt Clark

The Regional Water Fund of Southern Ecuador (FORAGUA) represents a model of how municipalities of varying size and capacity can act together to form a single integrated water fund as a mechanism to manage water resources. Water funds are mechanisms to finance the management of water catchment areas in order to ensure water quality as well as the retention capacity of mountain ecosystems. In doing so, they also conserve biodiversity and other environmental values of these mountain forests, linking water users to the ecosystems that provide the water they depend upon. This system implements a conservation program planned and funded with resources provided by citizens living within the watersheds, and in doing so, builds local capacity and sustainability. The municipalities that participate in FORAGUA levy fees on water users, which are first aggregated within the FORAGUA trust fund and then used to finance the management and conservation of the municipalities´ watershed forests. Ninety percent of these funds are allocated to the municipalities´ own watersheds; the remaining ten percent is used to fund the operating budget of its Technical Secretariat, which provides oversight and technical assistance to the municipalities. Since FORAGUA was created in 2009, these water fees have generated an average of $388,651 annually to be invested in watershed management and conservation programs. Water quality results include reduced fecal coliform levels at a local scale, corresponding with a decrease in water treatment costs. Conservation results include 174,028 acres declared as municipal reserves and 37,681 acres purchased to protect and restore the ecosystems that supply water for more than 430,000 people while conserving watershed forests of high biodiversity. In forming FORAGUA, the participating municipalities have established a common fund, sharing the costs of its operation and management. This enables smaller municipalities to be included in the fund, municipalities that may have important conservation areas but lack the population to generate substantial financial resources that otherwise would be required to implement a water fund mechanism.

Gaining Depth: State of Watershed Investment 2014

Bennett, G. and N. Carroll

Last year, governments and companies invested $12.3 billion (B) in initiatives implementing nature-based solutions to sustain the world’s clean water supplies. According to a new report from Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace, this funding – which supports healthy watersheds that naturally filter water, absorb storm surge, and perform other critical functions – flowed to more than seven million households and restored and protected a total of 365 million hectares (ha) of land, an area larger than India. Up from $8.2B in investment tracked in 2011, the researchers say the sector’s continued growth and near-doubling of the hundreds of operational programs reflects governments’ desire to secure water quality and availability with affordable strategies that can complement or replace industrial infrastructure.

Gaining Depth: State of Watershed Investment 2014 Executive Summary

Genevieve Bennett and Nathaniel Carroll

Last year, governments and companies invested $12.3 billion (B) in initiatives implementing nature-based solutions to sustain the world’s clean water supplies. According to a new report from Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace, this funding – which supports healthy watersheds that naturally filter water, absorb storm surge, and perform other critical functions – flowed to more than seven million households and restored and protected a total of 365 million hectares (ha) of land, an area larger than India. Up from $8.2B in investment tracked in 2011, the researchers say the sector’s continued growth and near-doubling of the hundreds of operational programs reflects governments’ desire to secure water quality and availability with affordable strategies that can complement or replace industrial infrastructure.

Watershed Approach Handbook: Improving Outcomes and Increasing Benefits Associated with Wetland and Stream Restoration and Protection Projects

Watershed Approach Handbook: Improving Outcomes and Increasing Benefits Associated with Wetland and Stream Restoration Projects advances the use of a watershed approach in the selection, design and siting of wetland and stream restoration and protection projects, including projects required by compensatory mitigation. The handbook, jointly developed by ELI (Environmental Law Institute) and The Nature Conservancy, demonstrates how using a watershed approach can help ensure that these projects also contribute to goals of improved water quality, increased flood mitigation, improved quality and quantity of habitat, and increases in other services and benefits. It provides an overall framework for the spectrum of watershed approaches, examples of specific types of these approaches, examples of types of analyses that may be useful for using one, and a list of national data sources that might inform all of the above. It also provides some guidance and lessons learned about considerations when developing wetland and stream protection and restoration projects.

Integrating Natural Infrastructure into Urban Coastal Resilience: Howard Beach, Queens

Freed, Adam and Erin Percifull, Charlotte Kaiser, Jonathan Goldstick, Matthew Wilson, and Emily Maxwell

This case study provides a first of its kind look at how natural defenses, in conjunction with built infrastructure, can help protect our communities from the impacts of climate change. Given New York City's density, in many parts of the City it is more cost-effective to protect people and property from climate risks at the neighborhood or regional scale than home by home or through relocation. This case study is focused on neighborhood scale protection alternatives and offers a methodology that could be replicated and applied to other coastal communities to evaluate the efficacy and relative costs and benefits of potential coastal resilience strategies. 

Conservation Finance: Moving Beyond Donor Funding toward an Investor-driven Approach

Luther Ragin, Jr. and Tracy Palandjian

This report shows existing unexploited private sector investment opportunities to increase conservation finance and deliver maximum conservation impacts while, at the same time, generating returns for investors. In order to develop appropriate financing structures and ensure that private sector conservation finance results in measurable conservation outcomes, financial institutions and non-governmental organizations must experiment and define their respective roles and approaches.

Global Estimates of the Value of Ecosystems and their Services in Monetary Units

Rudolf de Groot

This paper gives an overview of the value of ecosystem services of 10 main biomes expressed in monetary units. In total, over 320 value estimates were coded and stored in a searchable Ecosystem Service Value Database (ESVD). A selection of 665 value estimates was used for the analysis. Acknowledging the uncertainties and contextual nature of any valuation, the anaysis shows that the total value of ecosystem services is considerable and ranges between 490 int$/year for the total bundle of ecosystem services that can potentially be provided by an 'average' hectare of open oceans to almost 350,000 int$/year for the potential services of an 'average' hectare of coral reefs. More importantly, our results show that most of this value is outside the market and best considered as non-tradeable public benefits. The continued over-exploitation of ecosystems thus comes at the expense of the livelihood of the poor and future generations. Given that many of the positive externalities of ecosystems are lost or strongly reduced after land use conversion, better accounting for the public goods and services provided by ecosystems is crucial to improve decision making and institutions for biodiversity conservation and sustainable ecosystem management.

Why Value the Oceans?

Yannick Beaudoin and Linwood Pendleton

Oceans cover almost three-quarters of the planet, yet we are just beginning to discover the extent of the resources, both biotic and abiotic, the lie beneath their surfaces. We are also just beginning to understand the complexity of the interactions that tie oceans to the rest of Earth's systems. And then there is the coastal biome, where vital ecosystem services are most vulnerable. The coastal biome's links with both land adn ocean extend its reach and vulnerability both far inland and well out to sea. This discussion paper is based on contributions from an international group of experts. The paper is not intended to be comprehensive. Instead, it highlights areas of ocean and coastal management for which a better understanding of the economic value of marine ecosystem services could: substantially improve the management of critical marine resources;improve governance, regulation, and emerging ocean policy; and,provide a better understandng of the potential economic challenges that arise from a rapidly changing ocean environment.

Mangroves in the Gulf of California Increase Fishery Yields

Octavio Aburto-Oropeza, Exequiel Ezcurra, Gustavo Danemann, Victor Valdez,Jason Murray, and Enric Sala

This report shows that in the Gulf of California, fisheries landings are positively related to the local abundance of mangroves and, in particular, to the productive area in the mangrove-water fringe that is used as nursery and/or feeding grounds by many commercial species. Mangroves are disappearing rapidly worldwide despite their well documented biodiversity and the ecosystem services they provide. Failure to link ecological processes and their societal benefits has favored highly destructive agquaculture and tourism developments that threaten mangroves and result in costly "externalities." Specifically, the potentially irreparable damage to fisheries because of mangrove loss has been belittled and is greatly underestimated. Mangrove-related fish and crab species account for 32% of the small-scale fisheries landings in the region. The annual economic median value of these fisheries is US $37,500 per hectare previously calculated worldwide for all mangrove services together. The ten-year discounted value of one hectare of fringe is > 300 times the official cost set by Mexican government. The destruction of mangroves has a strong economic impact on local fishing communities and on food production in the region. Our valuation of the services provided by mangroves may prove useful in making appropriate decisions for a more efficient and sustainable use of wetlands.

Wealth, Rights, and Resilience: An Agenda for Governance Reform in Small-scale Fisheries

Blake. D. Ratner Edward H. Allison

The diversity of social, ecological and economic characteristics of small-scale fisheries in developing countries means that context-specific assessments are required to understand and address shortcomings in their governance. This article contrasts three perspectives on governance reform focused alternately on wealth, rights and resilience, and argues that-far from being incompatible- these perspectives serves as useful counterweights to one another, and together can serve to guide policy responses. In order to better appreciate the diversity in governance contexts for small-scale fisheries it puts forward a simple analytical framework focused on stakeholder representation, distribution of power, and accountability, and then outlines principles for identifiying and deliberating reform options among local stakeholders.

Marine InVEST

Natural Capital Project

The Marine Initiative of the Natural Capital Project is dedicated to using the framework of ecosystem services to inform ecosystem-based management of marine and coastal waters. The Project is developing and applying a suite of ecosystem service models called InVest (Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Trade-offs). Marine InVest is highly flexible to accommodate application across multiple scales in coastal and marine regions with diverse habitats, policy questions, and stakeholders. Our approach identifies where ecosystem services are provided adn where they are consumed. It reveals how resource management decisions will affect multiple aspects of the economy, human well-being and the environment. Marine InVest can help answer questions such as: What kinds of coastal management and fishery policies will give us the best returns for sustainable fisheries, shoreline protection and recreation? Are revenues from activities such as recreational fishing or scuba diving likely to rise or fall under an integrated coastal zone managment plan? How does marine spatial planning help to ensure that current and future generations benefit from the value of coral reefs for providing food, potential for economic prosperity, and biological diversity?

Securing Ocean Benefits for Society in the face of Climate Change

Benefits humnas rely on from the ocean-marine ecosystem services-are increasingly vulnerable under future climate. This paper reviews how three valued services have, and will continue to, shift under climage change: (1) capture fisheries, (2) food from aquaculture, and (3) protection from coastal hazards such as storms and sea-level rise. Climate adaptation planning is just beginning for fisheries, aquaculture production, and risk mitigation for coastal erosion and inundation. A few examples are highlighted, showing the promise of considering mulitple ecosystem services in developing approaches to adapt to sea-level rise, ocean acidification, and rising sea temperatures. Ecosystem-based adaptation in fisheries and along coastlines and changes in aquaculture practices can improve resilience of species and habitats to future environmental challenges. Opportunities to sue market incentives-such as compensation for services or nutrient trading schemes-are relatively untested in marine systesm. Relocation of communities in response to rising sea levels illustrates the urgent need to manage human activities and investments in ecosystems to provide a sustainable flow of benefits in the face of future climate change.

Charting New Waters: State of Watershed Payments 2012 Executive Summary for Business

Genevieve Bennett and Nathaniel Carroll, Forest Trends' Ecosystem Marketplace

This report benchmarks companies taking a landscape-scale approach to water risk – looking beyond direct operations to the larger watershed context. Business leaders from Coca-Cola to SABMiller to Sony are experimenting with natural infrastructure investments that address many of the operational risks at the top of their lists – including supply disruptions and emerging regulations – while saving money, increasing resilience to climate and natural disaster shocks, and improving relations with local communities. These efforts are known as investments in watershed services (“IWS”). This executive summary is developed specifically for a business audience, building upon data and analysis first presented in a more comprehensive report from Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace on the topic of watershed investments – Charting New Waters: State of Watershed Payments 2012. In Charting New Waters, we track the size, scope, and outlook for investments in watershed services and in the ecological infrastructure from which they flow.

Building a Resilient Energy Gulf Coast

Executive Report

America’s Energy Coast, America’s Wetlands Foundation, Entergy Corporation

This represents the first comprehensive analysis of climate risks and adaptation economics along the U.S. Gulf Coast. Entergy Corp., America’s third-largest utility company, commissioned this study looking at the potential damage to residential and commercial properties, infrastructure and assets across key energy sectors.  Over the next 20 years, the Gulf Coast could face cumulative economic damages of some $350 billion. This study follows the insurance industry's natural catastrophe model approach, which is directly applicable to future climate-sensitive risks. To quantify expected losses for different climate scenarios, three assessment types were used including: a hazard assessment, considering hurricanes, subsidence and sea level rise; an economic assessment of the value at risk from climate change; and a vulnerability assessment showing the correlation between hurricane severity and asset loss. The findings of the Gulf Coast study show that economic losses in the region could rise by 50 to 65 percent to an annual average of $23 billion by 2030. While half of this increase is driven entirely by asset growth and subsidence, climate change could exacerbate the risks. Also, under this scenario, critical loss years such as 2005 - when hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated the Gulf Coast - are more than twice as likely to occur in 2030 as today. According to the study, a number of economically viable adaptation measures are available to avert a large part of the damage.  The report asserts that adaptation planning can address the increase in annual loss between today and 2030, and keep the level of risk at a constant across the region.

Investments in Watershed Services for Moyobamba on Subwatersheds of the Alto Mayo, Department of San Martín, Peru

Recognizing the need to provide national leadership, capacity-building, and coordination to the many local and regional mechanisms facilitating investments in ecosystem services throughout Peru, the Ministry of Environment of Peru (MINAM) partnered with Forest Trends to establish the Peru Ecosystem Services Incubator in 2012. The Incubator aims to enhance investments in nature by society through providing technical, financial, and economic expertise; building capacity; and contributing to the development of national policy. To do this, the Incubator works with a range of non-governmental organizations, development agencies, national authorities, and local and regional governments throughout the country who have worked for years to advance investments in ecosystems. Guided by the national prioritization of improving integrated water management, investment mechanisms linked to watershed services are the first focus of the Incubator. This project is the first Investments in Watershed Services (IWS) experience in Peru to secure funds from water users. It aims to ensure the conservation and restoration of two sub-watersheds within the much larger Alto Mayo watershed that feeds the city of Moyobamba´s drinking water system. Using multi-stakeholder participation the project has generated positive incentives for the protection and sustainable use of watershed services.

Investments in Watershed Services for the Rimac Watershed, Department of Lima, Peru

Recognizing the need to provide national leadership, capacity-building, and coordination to the many local and regional mechanisms facilitating investments in ecosystem services throughout Peru, the Ministry of Environment of Peru (MINAM) partnered with Forest Trends to establish the Peru Ecosystem Services Incubator in 2012. The Incubator aims to enhance investments in nature by society through providing technical, financial, and economic expertise; building capacity; and contributing to the development of national policy. To do this, the Incubator works with a range of non-governmental organizations, development agencies, national authorities, and local and regional governments throughout the country who have worked for years to advance investments in ecosystems. Guided by the national prioritization of improving integrated water management, investment mechanisms linked to watershed services are the first focus of the Incubator. Lima is the second-largest desert city in the world after Cairo and its water situation is at a critical state due to rapid urban expansion, inefficient use and waste of water resources, and serious pollution and environmental degradation of the watersheds that supply the city. Lima obtains its water from three rivers, the Rimac, Chillón and Lurín, which originate in the high Andes and flow into the Pacific Ocean. The Rimac is the largest of these three watersheds and is considered one of the most polluted rivers in the world. The upper and mid-portions of the watershed are contaminated by mining residues and the lower watershed by organic residues and toxins derived from industrial and domestic waste, agricultural drainage, and poor disposal of solid wastes along its entire length.

Investments in Watershed Services for the Jequetepeque Watershed in Northwestern Peru, Departments of Cajamarca and La Libertad

Recognizing the need to provide national leadership, capacity-building, and coordination to the many local and regional mechanisms facilitating investments in ecosystem services throughout Peru, the Ministry of Environment of Peru (MINAM) partnered with Forest Trends to establish the Peru Ecosystem Services Incubator in 2012. The Incubator aims to enhance investments in nature by society through providing technical, financial, and economic expertise; building capacity; and contributing to the development of national policy. To do this, the Incubator works with a range of non-governmental organizations, development agencies, national authorities, and local and regional governments throughout the country who have worked for years to advance investments in ecosystems. Guided by the national prioritization of improving integrated water management, investment mechanisms linked to watershed services are the first focus of the Incubator. The Jequetepeque watershed in northern Peru provides water for agriculture and grazing, domestic needs, mining, and the production of hydroelectricity. The Gallito Ciego reservoir stores water from the Andean headwaters to supply it for extensive agricultural use in the valleys and large urban centers on the coast. Extreme rainfall events, particularly during El Niño years, have produced increased erosion and silt loads in the reservoir, with extensive deforestation of the upper watershed for agriculture and mining contributing to these increases. The objective of this Investments in Watershed Services (IWS) project is to ensure natural resource management and better farming practices on the upper watershed through an incentive paid to farmers implementing those practices. The incentive is paid by downstream water users who benefit from the improved services of water flow regulation and reduced sedimentation.

Investments in Watershed Services for the Cañete Watershed, Department of Lima, Peru

Peru Investments in Watershed Services Series

Recognizing the need to provide national leadership, capacity-building, and coordination to the many local and regional mechanisms facilitating investments in ecosystem services throughout Peru, the Ministry of Environment of Peru (MINAM) partnered with Forest Trends to establish the Peru Ecosystem Services Incubator in 2012. The Incubator aims to enhance investments in nature by society through providing technical, financial, and economic expertise; building capacity; and contributing to the development of national policy. To do this, the Incubator works with a range of non-governmental organizations, development agencies, national authorities, and local and regional governments throughout the country who have worked for years to advance investments in ecosystems. Guided by the national prioritization of improving integrated water management, investment mechanisms linked to watershed services are the first focus of the Incubator. The Cañete watershed, located on the central coast of Peru, is of strategic importance for nationwide agricultural production and economic development and has been selected as a pilot project to exemplify good administration of water resources based on Investment in Watershed Services (IWS). This project emphasizes the links between existing healthy ecosystems of the upper watershed that are conserved by local farming communities and the North Yauyos Lakes Landscape Reserve (a nationally recognized protected area) with the urban centers and economic activities across a broad coastal region that depend on the water services that provide adequate supply of good quality water.

CDP Global Water Report 2013

Moving beyond business as usual

Carbon Disclosure Project

In 2013, 530 institutional investors representing approximately US$57 trillion in assets and a number of major purchasing organizations called for greater transparency on corporate water issues from 1,036 companies. 593 companies from Antofagasta to Hewlett-Packard and L’Oreal to Unilever responded; a 59% increase since last year. This analysis and report is presented to provide those investors and purchasers with insight on the adequacy of the corporate response to water issues. In this report, CDP and Deloitte Consulting LLP (Deloitte) present results of the analysis based on the water disclosures of 184 Global 500 corporations that participated this year; a 60% response rate. Together, these corporations account for approximately 11 billion megaliters of water withdrawals per year, enough to provide 50 liters of water per day to the world’s current population of approximately 7 billion people for nearly 82 years. Over 90% of these companies now have water management plans in place, and companies report more than 1,300 actions, targets and goals to reduce their impact on water resources, and thus their exposure to water risks.

Landowner views on wetland enhancement and restoration in and adjacent to the Credit River watershed

The area of wetlands in the Credit River watershed has declined over several decades – a trend that is projected to continue. Such degradation threatens to further reduce the supply of several ecosystem services that flow from wetlands, which provide significant benefit to residents of the region. Therefore, it is important to protect existing wetlands, create new ones, or restore those that have been lost in the Credit River watershed. These actions can be difficult to implement and often require the participation of private landowners. It may be possible to develop wetlands conservation programs that encourage the voluntary participation of private landowners using financial or non-financial incentives. In this report, we sought to: (i) document landowner wetland management history; (ii) understand landowner preferences and attitudes about wetlands and the ecosystem services they provide; (iii) assess the willingness of landowners to implement wetland restoration or enhancement on their property; and (iv) evaluate landowner preferences for compensation (monetary and non-monetary), implementation details (e.g. types of incentives, conversion activity, extent of commitment, etc.), and overall willingness to accept compensation for wetland restoration or enhancement on their property. Types of activities considered included converting land directly into wetlands (i.e., restoration) as well as converting land into meadows/trees to enhance existing wetlands. Two surveys were developed (one for farmers and one for non-farmers) that included questions about landowner’s wetland management history and their attitudes toward wetlands. These questionnaires also included a choice experiment, which was used to assess landowner willingness to accept compensation for certain characteristics of an incentive-based wetlands conservation program (such a program would involve either converting land directly into a wetland or converting it to trees/meadows to help enhance existing wetlands in the area). The two surveys were sent to a sample of farm and rural non-farm households located in or adjacent the Credit River watershed. Analysis of survey responses revealed that farm and non-farm landowners had similar wetland management history and attitudes about wetlands and the services they provide, views about the current state of wetlands in the watershed, and perspectives on factors that would motivate landowners to implement wetland conservation activities.

Valuing Wetlands in Southern Ontario’s Credit River Watershed: a Contingent Valuation Analysis

The purpose of this study was to estimate the value of retaining and restoring wetland services in the Credit River Watershed (Southern Ontario, Canada) using the contingent valuation method . A total of 1,400 households were asked their willingness-to-pay (via voting for/against an increase in their property taxes over the next 5 years) for several wetland retention/restoration programs in the watershed, ranging from retaining 2,523 acres of wetlands to retaining/restoring 13,523 acres of wetlands over the 2009-20 period. Results indicate that while households were willing to pay a significant amount for the wetland programs considered in the study and were sensitive to the tax level (i.e., as the tax level increased, they were less willing to vote for a given proposed program), they were insensitive to the scope (or size) of the wetland program (i.e., they were not willing to pay more for larger wetland programs). This latter finding indicates that households place the same value on a wetland retention program as they do on a wetland restoration program. While some literature suggests that such a finding may reduce confidence in the estimates, recent literature indicates that such a finding may be rational in that households have more familiarity with (and place a significant value in) smaller wetland programs. Households were on average willing to pay an annual amount in the range of $228.58-$258.78 over the next 5 years for a wetland program, depending on the model specification used in the regression analysis.

What Do We Know about Gender and Other Social Impacts of IWS Projects?

A Literature Review

The approach of this short literature review is to look firstly at what the literature has to say about wider social impacts of “investing in watershed services” (IWS) projects or programs and, secondly, to examine more specifically the gender issues. Prepared for Partner Leadership Meeting and Social Impact Assessment Workshop, Santa Cruz, Bolivia, 12-15 June 2012.

Initial Recommendations for the Social Impact Assessment (SIA) in Investments in Watershed Services Programs

The main objective of this paper is to provide recommendations on the social impact assessment (SIA) of investments for watershed services (IWS) projects or programs. The paper draws on an extensive literature on the theory and practice of SIA, on the authors’ experiences of applying SIA in other natural resource contexts, and on discussions from a workshop with IWS program practitioners. It can be regarded as an introductory primer on SIA for IWS practitioners.

Natural Infrastructure

Investing in Forested Landscapes for Source Water Protection in the United States

Aging water infrastructure, increasing demand, continued land use change, and increasingly extreme weather events are driving the costs of water management higher in the United States. Investing in integrated water management strategies that combine engineered solutions with "natural infrastructure" can reduce costs, enhance services, and provide a suite of co-benefits for communities and the environment. This publication offers comprehensive guidance on the economics, science, partnerships, and finance mechanisms underlying successful efforts to secure the water-related functions of networks of forests and other ecosystems.

A Primer for Monitoring Water Funds

Water Funds are governance and financial mechanisms organized around the central principle of watershed conservation. This document is intended to assist people working on Water Funds to understand their information needs and become familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of various monitoring approaches. This primer is not intended to make people monitoring experts, but rather to help them become familiar with and conversant in the major issues so they can communicate effectively with experts to design a scientifically defensible monitoring program. The document highlights the critical information needs common to Water Fund projects and summarizes issues and steps to address in developing a Water Fund monitoring program. It explains key concepts and challenges; suggests monitoring parameters and an array of sampling designs to consider as a starting-point; and provides suggestions for further reading, links to helpful resources, and an annotated bibliography of studies on the impacts that result from activities commonly implemented in Water Fund projects. While this document highlights the importance of setting clear goals and objectives, which will guide a Water Fund and its activities and define what information should be tracked, it does not provide detailed information about how to develop goals and objectives. For more information on this process, see the Conservancy’s primer on Water Fund creation and design, Water Funds: Conserving green infrastructure: A guide for design, creation and operation.

Recommendations from Katoomba China

Policymakers, natural resource managers, researchers, and expert practitioners from 13 Chinese provinces and 15 countries recently convened at Katoomba XVIII: Forests, Water, and People in Beijing to advance investments in natural infrastructure for water security in an urbanizing world. The setting reflected China’s global leadership in eco-compensation as well as regional opportunities to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of investments in watershed services. Over the four-day meeting, participants presented and discussed innovative approaches from China and around the world for addressing water risk through investments in natural infrastructure. Sessions focused on innovative financing for natural infrastructure, new approaches by governments and business, managing the water-energy-food-nexus, and urban partnerships for watershed protection. Participants also delved into ongoing investments in Beijing’s watershed, focusing on efforts led by the neighboring Beijing Municipality and Hebei Province. Drawing on insights and observations during the meeting as well as experience from around the world, meeting participants developed recommendations, presented in these documents.

Sustainable Water Jobs

A National Assessment of Water-Related Green Job Opportunities

Eli Moore, Heather Cooley, Juliet Christian-Smith, Kristina Donnelly, Kristian Ongoco, and Daryl Ford

This report analyzes the jobs created through sustainable water management and the potential for increasing opportunities for disadvantaged communities. The research focuses on the following questions: What are the water challenges facing the nation and the best practices across sectors for sustainable water management and use? What policies and investments are driving sustainable water strategies and what evidence exists of their prevalence and growth? What activities and occupations are involved when sustainable water strategies are put in place? What data are available that quantify the jobs generated by these practices? What is the quality of these sustainable water occupations, their growth in the overall economy, and the demographics of the workforce involved? How can disadvantaged communities be linked to sustainable water jobs?

International Stormwater BMP Database

The International Stormwater Best Management Practices (BMP) Database project website features a database of over 500 BMP studies, performance analysis results, tools for use in BMP performance studies, monitoring guidance and other study-related publications. The overall purpose of the project is to provide scientifically sound information to improve the design, selection and performance of BMPs. Continued population of the database and assessment of its data will ultimately lead to a better understanding of factors influencing BMP performance and help to promote improvements in BMP design, selection and implementation. The project, which began in 1996 under a cooperative agreement between the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), now has support and funding from a broad coalition of partners including the Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF)ASCE Environmental and Water Resources Institute (EWRI), USEPA, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the American Public Works Association (APWA)Wright Water Engineers, Inc. and Geosyntec Consultants are the entities maintaining and operating the database clearinghouse and web page, answering questions, conducting analyses of newly submitted BMP data, conducting updated performance evaluations of the overall data set, disseminating project findings, and expanding the database to include other approaches such as Low Impact Development techniques. The database itself is downloadable to any individual or organization that would like to conduct its own assessments.

Consider the Source: A Pocket Guide to Protecting Your Drinking Water

US Environmental Protection Agency

This guide provides states, local governments, and consumers with resources to enhance existing source water protection programs and future drinking water protection plans. This guide includes an overview of Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act based regulatory and voluntary resources, tools, management measures, and financing sources.

Generic framework for meso-scale assessment of climate change hazards in coastal environments

Lars Rosendahl Appelquist

This paper presents a generic framework for assessing inherent climate change hazards in coastal environments through a combined coastal classification and hazard evaluation system. The framework is developed to be used at scales relevant for regional and national planning and aims to cover all coastal environments worldwide through a specially designed coastal classification system containing 113 generic coastal types. The framework provides information on the degree to which key climate change hazards are inherent in a particular coastal environment, and covers the hazards of ecosystem disruption, gradual inundation, salt water intrusion, erosion and flooding. The system includes a total of 565 individual hazard evaluations, each graduated into four different hazard levels based on a scientific literature review. The framework uses a simple assessment methodology with limited data and computing requirements, allowing for application in developing country settings. It is presented as a graphical tool—the Coastal Hazard Wheel—to ease its application for planning purposes.

Water Funds Business Case

Conservation as a Source of Competitive Advantage

The Nature Conservancy

At the inaugural meeting of the Latin America Conservation Council in November 2011, its members committed to a multi-year goal of using nature to secure clean water supplies for 25 of Latin America’s most at-risk cities. One of the five strategies chosen to reach this goal was to develop and show business cases that can clearly demonstrate the social and economic benefits of investing in nature, or as we also say, green infrastructure, which provides essential services for the development and well-being of human societies. This publication was developed under this context. Based on the information generated by the Latin America Water Funds Partnership, an initiative of The Nature Conservancy, FEMSA Foundation, Inter-American Development Bank and Global Environmental Facility, we gathered results related to the development and implementation of Water Funds in several Latin American cities to provide solid examples of why investing in nature benefitsboth people and economies.

Charting New Waters: State of Watershed Payments 2012

The number of initiatives that protect and restore forests, wetlands, and other water-rich ecosystems has nearly doubled in just four years as governments urgently seek sustainable alternatives to costly industrial infrastructure, according to a new report from Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace. “Whether you need to save water-starved China from economic ruin or protect drinking water for New York City, investing in natural resources is emerging as the most cost-efficient and effective way to secure clean water and recharge our dangerously depleted streams and aquifers,” said Michael Jenkins, Forest Trends President and CEO. “80 percent of the world is now facing significant threats to water security. We are witnessing the early stages of a global response that could transform the way we value and manage the world’s watersheds.” The report, State of Watershed Payments 2012, is the second installment of the most comprehensive inventory to date of initiatives around the world that are paying individuals and communities to revive or preserve water-friendly features of the landscape. Such features include wetlands, streams, and forests that can capture, filter, and store freshwater.

Soil & Water Assessment Tool

USDA Agricultural Research Service - Grassland, Soil and Water Research Laboratory

SWAT is a river basin scale model developed to quantify the impact of land management practices in large, complex watersheds. SWAT is a public domain model actively supported by the USDA Agricultural Research Service at the Grassland, Soil and Water Research Laboratory in Temple, Texas, USA.

In It Together: A How-To Reference for Building Point-Nonpoint Water Quality Trading Programs - PART III

Willamette Partnership, Pinchot Institute for Conservation, and World Resources Institute

Watersheds across the United States have used different forms of water quality trading over the last decades as a flexible tool for meeting water quality goals. The successes, failures, and valuable lessons learned gathered by pioneering groups can be instrumental in helping new trading programs lay the groundwork for success. Those lessons have been gathered in In It Together: A How-To Reference for Building Point-Nonpoint Water Quality Trading Programs. This report, prepared for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Office of Environmental Markets, incorporates these lessons, with existing resources from USDA, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and others, into this how-to reference (as part of USDA's ongoing efforts to advance market-based solutions as important tools for landowners implementing conservation practices). Part III presents case study write-ups for water quality trading programs in North Carolina, the Pacific Northwest, and the Chesapeake Bay.

In It Together: A How-To Reference for Building Point-Nonpoint Water Quality Trading Programs - PART I

Willamette Partnership, Pinchot Institute for Conservation, and World Resources Institute

Watersheds across the United States have used different forms of water quality trading over the last decades as a flexible tool for meeting water quality goals. The successes, failures, and valuable lessons learned gathered by pioneering groups can be instrumental in helping new trading programs lay the groundwork for success. Those lessons have been gathered in In It Together: A How-To Reference for Building Point-Nonpoint Water Quality Trading Programs. This report, prepared for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Office of Environmental Markets, incorporates these lessons, with existing resources from USDA, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and others, into this how-to reference (as part of USDA's ongoing efforts to advance market-based solutions as important tools for landowners implementing conservation practices). Part 1 presents an overview and current status of point-nonpoint water quality trading programs and serves as a primer. It summarizes existing water quality trading programs for newcomers to the field.

In It Together: A How-To Reference for Building Point-Nonpoint Water Quality Trading Programs - PART II

Willamette Partnership, Pinchot Institute for Conservation, and World Resources Institute

Watersheds across the United States have used different forms of water quality trading over the last decades as a flexible tool for meeting water quality goals. The successes, failures, and valuable lessons learned gathered by pioneering groups can be instrumental in helping new trading programs lay the groundwork for success. Those lessons have been gathered in In It Together: A How-To Reference for Building Point-Nonpoint Water Quality Trading Programs. This report, prepared for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Office of Environmental Markets, incorporates these lessons, with existing resources from USDA, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and others, into this how-to reference (as part of USDA's ongoing efforts to advance market-based solutions as important tools for landowners implementing conservation practices). Part II is a design reference for building and operating water quality trading programs that outlines how to move through each phase of trading program development and cites the milestones that will help program designers plan throughout the process.

Water Funds: Conserving Green Infrastructure. A Guide for Design, Creation and Operation

Alejandro Calvache, Silvia Benitez, and Aurelio Ramos

This manual is an effort by TNC, FEMSA Foundation, IDB, and GEF to compile, analyze and synthesize its own experience with Water Funds, together with that of the projects already in existence and under creation, in order to provide operational guidelines to people and organizations interested in establishing a water fund or similar mechanism. Each location has different ecologi­cal, social, economic, legal and institutional features and, therefore, each water fund will have its own characteris­tics, phases and projections. This manual presents gen­eral guidelines and logical steps that must be followed to boost the opportunities and benefits of a water fund and to minimize possible obstacles for its creation. It is not intended to be an in-depth look at every aspect of water funds. Although TNC participates in several other initiatives and similar approaches to watershed manage­ment, such as the water producers program in Brazil, this document will not address those initiatives and will only focus on the water funds schemes as they have been developed in the Andean region.

Carpe Diem West Academy Tool Library

Carpe Diem West Academy

Carpe Diem West Academy maintains a compendium of water and climate-related tools and training materials, organized according to a eight-state 'roadmap' for decision-making under climate uncertainty. Resources are screened and evaluated using a number of criteria, and are presented with a summary and user reviews. Carpe Diem West Academy also offers a 'Tool of the Month' feature and regular webinars exploring tools and their applicability in further depth. 

Payments for Watershed Services: The Bellagio Conversations

Nigel Asquith & Sven Wunder (editors)

The Bellagio Conversations took place from March 12-17 2007 at the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Center at Lake Como (Italy), consisting of 24 individual from 13 countries discussing practical experiences and lessons learned from payments for watershed services.

Valuing watershed services: concepts and empirics from southeast Asia

Subhrendu K. Pattanayak

Abstract: Few empirical studies have rigorously analyzed the downstream economic benefits of watershed protection to generate economic values of watershed services. By developing a conceptual framework and using household level economic and environmental data to illustrate its empirical tractability, this paper addresses the neglected, but critical, question of the importance of watershed services to farming communities in southeast Asia. A case study from Flores, Indonesia provides evidence of a substantive, quantified economic benefit of watershed service based on a fixed-effects regression model of water collection costs. The paper also offers lessons for researchers at all stages of data collection and analysis and a research agenda for enhancing our toolkit for policy analysis. This discussion of conceptual, empirical and methodological issues collectively suggests that ecosystem valuation can provide critical input into the design and evaluation of conservation and development policies in the tropics.

Paying for the hydrological services of Mexico's forests: Analysis, negotiations and results

Carlos Muñoz-Piña, Alejandro Guevara, Juan Manuel Torres, Josefina Braña

Abstract: Mexico faces both high deforestation and severe water scarcity. The Payment for Hydrological Environmental Services (PSAH) Program was designed to complement other policy responses to the crisis at the interface of these problems. Through the PSAH, the Mexican federal government pays participating forest owners for the benefits of watershed protection and aquifer recharge in areas where commercial forestry is not currently competitive. Funding comes from fees charged to water users, from which nearly US $18 million are earmarked for payments of environmental services. Applicants are selected according to several criteria that include indicators of the value of water scarcity in the region. This paper describes the process of policy design of the PSAH, the main actors involved in the program, its operating rules, and provides a preliminary evaluation. One of the main findings is that many of the program's payments have been in areas with low deforestation risk. Selection criteria need to be modified to better target the areas where benefits to water users are highest and behavior modification has the least cost, otherwise the program main gains will be distributive, but without bringing a Pareto improvement in overall welfare.

Economic Analysis for Ecosystem Service Assessments

Ian J. Bateman, Georgina M. Mace, Carlo Fezzi, Giles Atkinson, Kerry Turner

Abstract: The paper seeks to contribute to the expanding literature on ecosystem service assessment by considering its integration with economic analyses of such services. Focussing upon analyses for future orientated policy and decision making, we initially consider a single period during which ecological stocks are maintained at sustainable levels. The flow of ecosystems services and their contribution to welfare bearing goods is considered and methods for valuing resultant benefits are reviewed and illustrated via a case study of landuse change. We then broaden our time horizon to discuss the treatment of future costs and benefits. Finally we relax our sustainability assumption and consider economic approaches to the incorporation of depleting ecological assets with a particular focus upon stocks which exhibit thresholds below which restoration is compromised.

Cost pricing for water production and water protection services in Jamaica: a situational analysis

Cletus Springer

From the Executive Summary: This report represents part of the deliverables of a regional project being implemented by the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) aimed at: Exploring the usefulness of market- and incentive-based approaches as tools for optimising watershed services and improving livelihoods, especially of the rural poor; Assessing the requirements for implementing market-based approaches, at both the supply and demand sides of the water cycle, in ways that internalise the costs of watershed protection relating to the production, protection, and delivery of water.The regional project is part of a larger global project entitled ‘Developing markets for watershed protection services and improved livelihoods’, which is being implemented by the International Institute for Environment and Development with support from the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom.

Willingness-to-pay surveys – A streamlined approach

Wedgwood, A. and Sansom, K.

This resource provides an overview of the contingent valuation method, survey design and implementation, data anlysis, etc., in the context of water policy design, with a primary focus on small towns in developing countries.

Willamette Partnership Water Temperature Credit Calculator: Shade-a-lator v6.2

Willamette Partnership

The Shade-a-lator model, used by the Willamette Partnership to determine water temperature credits, calculates thermal load reductions (in kcal/day/foot) from riparian shade restoration projects. Click the link to view the model, a brief introduction, and data entry instructions.

Willamette Partnership Salmonid Habitat Credit Calculator

Willamette Partnership

The Salmonid Habitat Calculator uses scores from six key ecological functions to generate the Willamette Partnerships's salmonid habitat credit, measured in weighted linear feet. Click the link to view the calcutor, functional equations, crediting procedure, and data entry instructions.

Willamette Partnership General Crediting Protocol

Willamette Partnership

The General Crediting Protocol describes the process and methodology for generating ecosystem service credits in the Willamette Basin Ecosystem Marketplace, built on a functions-based accounting system.

Willamette Partnership Credit Verification Protocol

Willamette Partnership

The ecosystem credit accounting system requires third party verification of all projects. The Willamette Partnership's Verification Protocol provides guidance on the verification process. Third party verification is defined as an independent expert assessment of the accuracy and conformity of a Project Developer’s Credit Estimate with agreed upon criteria, free of material misstatements and conforming to accounting and credit generation standards. To do this, information should be complete (project eligibility, baseline information, proposed actions, credit calculations, and protections of credit quality), consistent (comparable data over time), accurate (findings should be repeatable), and transparent.

Will Nutrient Credit Trading Ever Work? An Assessment of Supply and Demand Problems and Institutional Obstacles

Dennis M. King & Peter J. Kuch

By analyzing thirty-seven different water quality trading markets, initiatives and pilot programs the authors draw the significant conclusion that supply and demand are lacking in water quality markets in the United States. They attribute the lack of transaction activity in US water quality trading markets exist despite much government support and several programs with clear rules and limited institutional hurdles. The paper analysis the basic designs and functions of markets as well as the economics for the nutrient credit suppliers and buyers.

When and Where Is a PWS Investment Justified in Biophysical Terms?

Marta Echavarria

This document attempts to simplify the information available on hydrological services of forests and other natural systems. It summarizes for practitioners what has been published as potential land use practices and helps to focus hydrological data gathering and research efforts.

What are we learning from experiences with markets for environmental services in Costa Rica? A review and critique of the literature

Manrique Rojas & Bruce Aylward

This paper digs deep into the literature regarding the Costa Rica experience in an effort to see what we are learning from the experience: how has technical, scientific and economic information on environmental services fed into these initiatives? To what extent are these initial experiences being monitored and evaluated? Is there a feedback loop that connects these experiences with learning about environment and development issues, particularly in the local context of policy-making within the country? This paper is meant to complement a 2002 survey of markets for environmental services by IIED.

Watershed Plan Builder

US Environmental Protection Agency

Watershed Plan Builder Tool is designed for users who are just beginning to develop a watershed plan, are in the process of developing a watershed plan, or updating an existing plan. It will help get you started on developing a watershed plan by guiding you through a series of questions designed to collect information about your watershed. The information you provide will be used to produce a customized watershed plan outline.

Watershed Management for Potable Water Supply: Assessing the New York City Strategy

Committee to Review the New York City Watershed Management Strategy, National Academy Press

Watershed Management for Potable Water Supply: Assessing the New York City Strategy presents the National Research Council's scientific evaluation of New York City's watershed management program. This report discusses an evaluation of the Land Acquisition Program, the comprehensive land use planning requirement, the role of disease surveillance, and provides results of a microbial risk assessment and potential impacts of changes in federal water quality regulations. It also details several issues that should be considered as New York City carries out watershed management.

Watershed Forest Management Information System (WFMIS)

U.S. Forest Service, U-Mass Amherst

The Watershed Forest Management Information System (WFMIS) is a spatial decision support system developed to evaluate and plan forest conservation, nonpoint source pollution mitigation, forest road maintenance, and silvicultural planning and operations.

Water, Energy and Climate Change: A Contribution from the Business Community

World Business Council on Sustainable Development

"Water, Energy and Climate Change: A Contribution from the Business Community" is a report offered by the World Business Council on Sustainable Development's Water Project, exploring how water, energy and climate change are inextricably linked. The WBCSD's Water Project brings together more than 60 companies from mining and metals, oil and gas, consumer products, food and beverages, infrastructure services and equipment sectors. The broad representation reflects the knowledge that all businesses will face water challenges in the years ahead. The report includes important policy recommendations for climate negotiators and policy-makers, from the business community.It also includes a number of case studies showing how business is already linking water, energy and climate across their operations.

Water Quality Trading Toolkit for Permit Writers

US Environmental Protection Agency

This toolkit offers a comprehensive overview of designing a water quality trading program driven by National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits, with a focus on guiding permitting authorities in incorporating provisions for trading in permits.

Water Quality Trading Programs: An International Overview

Mindy Selman, Evan Branosky, & Cy Jones

"Water Quality Trading Programs: An International Overview" provides a worldwide look at the state of water quality trading, including an overview of the scope of current programs, and an in-depth analysis of key factors that contribute to a trading program's success, based on a survey of stakeholders. Building on these key factors, the report also makes recommendations for developing water quality trading programs.

Water Quality Trading Assessment Handbook, Can Water Quality Trading Advance Your Watershed's Goals?

US Environmental Protection Agency

This handbook walks through four evaluation steps for anyone interested in proposing a water quality trading market for their watershed.

Water Quality Trading and Offset Initiatives in the United States: A Comprehensive Survey

Hanna L. Breetz, Karen Fisher-Vanden, Laura Garzon, Hannah Jacobs, Kailin Kroetz, & Rebecca Terry

This review gives basic information on program background, trade structures, outcomes and program references for water quality trading programs and initiatives in the United States. By looking at trades in the markets, transaction costs and cost savings, the report gives an understanding of water quality trading activity in the United States.

Water Quality Scorecard

US Environmental Protection Agency

EPA's Water Quality Scorecard was developed to help local governments identify opportunities to remove barriers, and revise and create codes, ordinances and incentives for better water quality protection. It guides municipal staff through a review of relevant local codes and ordinances, across multiple municipal departments and at the three scales within the jurisdiction of a local government (municipality, neighborhood, and site), to ensure that these codes work together to protect water quality goals. The two main goals of this tool are to: (1) help communities protect water quality by identifying ways to reduce the amount of stormwater flows in a community and (2) educate stakeholders on the wide range of policies and regulations that have water quality implications. This is part of USEPA's Managing Wet Weather with Green Infrastructure Handbook Series.

Water Quality Analysis Simulation Program

US Environmental Protection Agency

The Water Quality Analysis Simulation Program. (WASP7), an enhancement of the original WASP (Di Toro et al., 1983; Connolly and Winfield, 1984; Ambrose, R.B. et al., 1988). This model helps users interpret and predict water quality responses to natural phenomena and manmade pollution for various pollution management decisions. WASP is a dynamic compartment-modeling program for aquatic systems, including both the water column and the underlying benthos. WASP allows the user to investigate 1, 2, and 3 dimensional systems, and a variety of pollutant types. WASP has been used to examine eutrophication of Tampa Bay, FL; phosphorus loading to Lake Okeechobee, FL; eutrophication of the Neuse River Estuary, NC; eutrophication Coosa River and Reservoirs, AL; PCB pollution of the Great Lakes, eutrophication of the Potomac Estuary, kepone pollution of the James River Estuary, volatile organic pollution of the Delaware Estuary, and heavy metal pollution of the Deep River, North Carolina, mercury in the Savannah River, GA.

Water Nutrient and Light Capture in Agroforestry Systems: Plot Level Model

World Agroforestry Centre

The WaNuLCAS model was developed to represent tree-soil-crop interactions in a wide range of agroforestry systems where trees and crops overlap in space and/or in time in simultaneous and sequential agroforestry.  The model is based on above and below ground architecture of tree and crop, elementary tree and crop physiology and soil science (daily water, N, P and SOM balance for four soil layers and four horizontal zones). The model was developed in the ‘Stella’ modelling platform and can be used to assess the performance in terms of profitability as well as sustainability of various agroforestry systems.

Water for Business: Initiatives Guiding Sustainable Water Management in the Private Sector

World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) & the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

"Water for Business: Initiatives Guiding Sustainable Water Management in the Private Sector" is a report jointly developed by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The report identifies 16 initiatives or tools, driven by business leaders, civil society and governments, which have emerged since 2006. It includes the WBCSD Global Water Tool, which helps companies map their water use and assess water risks and opportunities across their global operations. Water for Business is not an exhaustive overview; rather, it tries to concisely capture business-relevant initiatives that are addressing the challenge of better defining sustainable water management. These can be through different approaches, including guidelines, tools, measurement methodologies, and communication and stewardship schemes.

Water Footprint Assessment Manual: Setting the Global Standard

Aren Y. Hoekstra, Ashok K. Chapagain, Maite M. Aldaya, & Mesfin M. Mekonnen

The "Water Footprint Assessment Manual: Setting the Global Standard" is the definitive book on the global standard on water footprint assessment as developed by the Water Footprint Network. The book provides a comprehensive set of methods for water footprint assessment and shows how water footprints can be calculated for individual processes and products, as well as for consumers, nations and businesses. It also contains detailed worked examples of how to calculate green, blue and grey water footprints, and how to assess the sustainability of the aggregated water footprint within a river basin or the water footprint of a specific product. The book includes an extensive library of possible measures that can contribute to water footprint reduction.

Water Evaluation and Planning System ("WEAP")

Stockholm Environmental Institute's U.S. Center

The Water Evaluation and Planning system (WEAP) is a tool for environmental managers to plan for allocating limited freshwater services between multiple uses. It is based on an integrated water resources planning approach and helps users evaluate simulated outcomes under a range of hydrologic and policy scenarios. WEAP also facilitates structured stakeholder engagement and can be integrated with a number of other models and software.

Water Disclosure Project 2010 Global Report

Carbon Disclosure Project

The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP)'s Water Disclosure provides critical water-related data from the world’s largest corporations to inform the global market place on investment risk and commercial opportunity. The project requests information on the risks and opportunities companies face in relation to water; on water usage and exposure to water stress in companies’ own operations and in their supply chains; and on companies’ water management plans and governance. In 2010 CDP sent its first annual water questionnaire to 302 of the world’s largest 500 companies in the FTSE Global Equity Index Series (the ‘Global 500’), focusing on sectors that are water-intensive or particularly exposed to water-related risk.

Values and Rewards: Counting and Capturing Water Ecosystem Services for Sustainable Development

Emerton, Lucy, ed.

Water ecosystems have long been perceived by decision makers as having little value simply because their economic value is poorly understood and rarely articulated. Calculating the economic value of an ecosystem is a means of providing information which can be used to make better and more informed choices about how resources are managed, used and allocated. This publication attempts to address the challenge of using water ecosystem valuation to strengthen river basin management, and to demonstrate its practical utility for decision making. It documents a number of case studies from Africa and Asia where valuation studies have been carried out by IUCN with the specific aim of influencing the policy and management decisions that impact on water ecosystems in river basins.

Value : Counting Ecosystems as Water Infrastructure

Lucy Emerton & Elroy Bos

"Value : Counting Ecosystems as Water Infrastructure" offered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, is a practical guide explaining the most important techniques for the economic valuation of ecosystem services, and how their results are best incorporated in policy and decision-making. The guide explains, step by step, how to generate persuasive arguments for more sustainable and equitable development decisions in water resources management. It shows that investments in nature can be investments that pay back. This guide is offered as part of the the IUCN Water and Nature Initiative (WANI)'s Toolkit series, which aims to support learning on mainstreaming an ecosystems approach in water resource management. The tools are aimed at practitioners, policy-makers and students from NGOs, governments and academia. Also available in Spanish and Chinese.

Valoración Socioeconómica de los Humedales en América Latina y el Caribe' [IN SPANISH]

M.E. Stolk, P. A. Verweij, M. Stuip, C. J. Baker & W. Oosterberg

This is a resource for valuing wetlands in Latin America and the Carribbean.

US EPA Water Quality Trading Toolkit

US Environmental Protection Agency

The Water Quality Trading Toolkit for Permit Writers is EPA’s first “how-to” manual on designing and implementing water quality trading programs. The Toolkit helps National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting authorities incorporate trading provisions into permits. It will help improve the quality and consistency of all trading programs across the nation.

UNDP WaterWiki

United Nations Development Programme

A website for knowledge sharing (a "knowledge map") and on-line collaboration, between water governance practitioners and UNDP-partners in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and CIS.

Trading Efficiency in Water Quality Trading Markets: An Assessment of Trade-Offs

Hugh McDonald and Suzi Kerr

Declining water quality as a result of increased nutrient leaching is a serious and growing concern, both internationally and in New Zealand. Water pollution issues have traditionally been addressed with command-and-control type regulation, but market-based nutrient trading schemes are becoming more widespread. In New Zealand, a cap-and-trade system has been implemented in Lake Taupo and another has been designed for Lake Rotorua. Despite the importance placed on avoiding transaction costs in water quality trading markets, there has been little discussion in the literature of practical policies to decrease these transaction costs, or any real assessment of when it is and is not optimal to decrease transaction costs. This paper begins to address these issues. We find that strong efforts to control time-of-trade transaction costs are most likely to be worthwhile in schemes with heterogeneous participants and large expected values and volumes of trading. The trading inefficiency that results from search and bargaining, and trade registration costs can be minimised at some cost. Regulators can reduce trade approval costs if they establish baseline leaching levels for all participants and design standardised leaching monitoring systems as part of the set-up of the system, and monitor all sources equally regardless of whether participants trade instead of estimating and approving changes in traders’ leaching at the time of each trade (as occurs in a baseline-and-credit system). Finally we find that while regulators may be tempted to restrict trading or increase measuring and monitoring requirements to increase the environmental certainty of a scheme’s outcome, environmental risk may be better addressed through a less certain but more stringent environmental target.

The Value of Green Infrastructure: A Guide to Recognizing its Economic, Environmental, and Social Benefits

Center for Neighborhood Technology & American Rivers

The Center for Neighborhood Technology has teamed up with American Rivers to produce The Value of Green Infrastructure: A Guide to Recognizing its Economic, Environmental, and Social Benefits. The guide explains what 'green infrastructure' means and why we need more of it, especially in the urban context. Green infrastructure is first and foremost a set of water management practices, helping to limit stormwater runoff, increase infiltration, and protect nearby waterways – but it also delivers surprising benefits for energy conservation, air quality, and community livability. The guide walks decision-makers through the process of assessing what investing in green infrastructure can do for their community.

The Role of Voluntary and Market-Based Initiatives in Freshwater Ecosystem Restoration

Bruce Aylward

This white paper introduces the 'flow' problem - of overallocation and overwithdrawal of water leading to low flows and water quality and habitat degradation - and market-based strategies to address it. It discusses market approaches to flow restoration, including recent policy and market developments, existing mechanisms, and future prospects.

The Ripple Effect: Water Risk in the Municipal Bond Market

Ceres & Water Asset Management

This report takes a comprehensive look at how water scarcity, climate change, and ever-growing demand for clean water can lead to serious risk exposure for water and electric utilities, especially in the US Southwest and Southeast. It finds that market participants are systematically overlooking that risk, and even inadvertently encouraging risk by rewarding pricing and infrastructure plans that encourage increased water use despite near-term supply constraints. By overlooking these critical factors, all involved are allowing water risk to grow—and remain hidden—in the bond market. The report includes a first-of-its-kind model, developed by PwC, to aid rating agencies, public utilities and investors in understanding the potential risks of undersupply.

The Nature and Value of Ecosystem Services: An Overview Highlighting Hydrologic Services

Kate A. Brauman et al.

This article reviews watershed services and the ecosystem functions that provide them, reviewing valuation and policy issues, management strategies, and ecosystem service assessment approaches. It suggests avenues for future research to advance an ecosystem services framework for land management policy.

The Federal Context for In-Lieu-Fee Mitigation

Environmental Law Institute

The Federal Context for In-Lieu-Fee Mitigation is a section of an Environmental Law Institute document available for purchase on their website ( This section describes the concept and history of in-lieu-fee mitigation, which is generally wetland mitigation conducted after permitted impacts have already occurred. This section further describes the 2000 in-lieu-fee federal guidance and its administrative implications.

The Corporate Ecosystem Services Review

Craig Hanson, John Finisdore, Janet Ranganathan, & Charles Iceland

This guide offers a methodology for private sector actors to identify and manage ecosystem-services related risks to their business.

Stormwater Management Model

US Environmental Protection Agency

The EPA Storm Water Management Model (SWMM) is a dynamic rainfall-runoff simulation model used for single event or long-term (continuous) simulation of runoff quantity and quality from primarily urban areas. The runoff component of SWMM operates on a collection of subcatchment areas on which rain falls and runoff is generated. The routing portion of SWMM transports this runoff through a conveyance system of pipes, channels, storage/treatment devices, pumps, and regulators. SWMM tracks the quantity and quality of runoff generated within each subcatchment, and the flow rate, flow depth, and quality of water in each pipe and channel during a simulation period comprised of multiple time steps.

Stormwater Case Studies

American Society of Landscape Architects

The Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A.) recently initiated a national rulemaking to establish a comprehensive program to reduce stormwater runoff from new development and re-development projects, and make other improvements to strengthen its stormwater program. The EPA asked the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) to collect case studies on projects that successfully and sustainably manage stormwater. ASLA members responded with 479 case studies from 43 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada. Not only do these projects showcase landscape architecture, they also demonstrate to policymakers the value of promoting green infrastructure policies. Green infrastructure and low-impact development (LID) approaches, which are less costly than traditional grey infrastructure projects, can save communities millions of dollars each year and improve the quality of our nation’s water supply. 

Stacking Payments for Ecosystem Services

World Resources Institute

As programs that provide payments for ecosystem services grow, policy makers will need to determine how these various payments should interact with each other. This interaction presents an opportunity to expand the suite of services for which an ecosystem is managed. However, it also creates the risk that multiple payments will be made for the same ecosystem services, possibly reducing the efficiency of payments or diminishing the environmental benefits they were intended to provide. This factsheet offers an initial review of these risks and opportunities. It is part of a larger effort by WRI to develop a comprehensive framework for stacking payments for ecosystem services.

Stacking Ecosystem Services Payments: Risks and Solutions

David Cooley & Lydia Olander

This paper examines present debates about stacking, wherein landowners receive payments for multiple ecosystem services generated by one parcel. The paper provides an overview of current examples of stacking in the United States and current policy and guidance; it also considers stacking's potential environmental and economic outcomes.

Sociopolitical Conditions for Successful Water Quality Trading in the South Nation River Watershed, Ontario, Canada

Dennis O'Grady

This case study details the South Nation River point source-non point source phosphorus trading program in Ontario, Canada and factors contributing to a successful program, including community buy-in, legislative support, streamlined crediting process, and credit and cost certainty.

Social Analysis Sourcebook: Incorporating Social Dimensions into Bank-Supported Projects

World Bank

This sourcebook provides a conceptual framework and methodology for assessing the social aspects/impacts of World Bank projects, with a focus on social diversity and gender, institutions, rules and behavior, stakeholders, participation, and social risk.

Silver Bullet or Fools' Gold?

Natasha Landell-Mills and Ina Porras

This report provides a  conceptual framework and overview of payments for ecosystem services programs around the world, including a chapter on watershed payments that reviews 61 projects. The report covers the current state of projects, general impacts on poverty, recommendations, and glossary.

Setting up a PES Scheme

FAO Agricultural Development Economics Division (ESA)

This is an interactive diagram that takes users through the stages of establishing a payments for ecosystem services project, from initial scoping to developing institutional and financial frameworks, engaging stakeholders, building in pro-poor options, to implementation and monitoring.

Servicios de Ecosistemas en America Latina: Lecciones Aprendidas en Agua, Bosques y Ecoturismo' [IN SPANISH]

The Nature Conservancy

This is a synthesis paper on various payments for environmental services (PES) cases. It details case studies of PES mechanisms including watershed payments, forest payments, and ecotourism, as well as lessons learned developed during a synthesis workshop in Cartagena, Colombia, in February 2007.

Selecting an Environmental Consultant

Wisconsin Dept of Natural Resources

This is a perfect example of how PES can learn from other related work. Though this focuses on cleaning up groundwater, the types of questions, especially those on page 2, are useful for those getting involved in PES.

RUPES Typology of Environmental Services Worthy of Reward

Meine van Noordwijk

The development of transparent and sustainable reward mechanisms for environmental services provided by upland farmers to downstream communities requires clarity on the relationship between land use and the type of environmental services provided. In the context of the RUPES project (‘rewarding upland poor for the environmental services they provide’), a typology of environmental services is discussed that leads to the distinction of twelve ‘proto-types’ of situations where the upland-lowland relationship is focused on a specific environmental service function.

Rooftops to Rivers

Christopher Kloss & Crystal Calarusse

This report summarizes the case for green infrastructure strategies to control urban stormwater, including seven case studies, potential economic benefits and policy recommendations.

Rhetoric and Reality of Water Quality Trading and the Potential for Market-like Reform

Kurt Stephenson & Leonard Shabman

This paper argues that many of the theoretical arguments for water quality trading that engages nonpoint sources go unrealized in practice, and a need for market-like reform exists if trading is to reach its full potential.

Rapid Hydrological Appraisal

World Agroforestry Centre

Rapid Hydrological Appraisal (RHA) is an tool offering an integrated approach to assessing watershed functions and management options. The tool aims to provide answers on (i) how the watershed function is provided; (ii) who could be responsible for providing this service; (iii) how watershed function is being impacted upon at present; and, (iv) how rewards can be channelled to effectively enhance or at least maintain the function.   RHA can help to bridge the gaps of knowledge that may exist between the various watershed stakeholders.    This approach hopefully leads to a situation where all knowledge systems are integrated and linked.

Puget Sound Partnership Action Agenda: New Innovative Funding Sources

Cassin, Jan, and Adam Davis

This report was produced to review potential funding sources for restoring Washington's Puget Sound, but serves as an excellent overview of innovative financial mechanisms for watershed protection in general. It covers payments for ecosystem services, private sector incentives, taxes and fees, and voluntary private sector programs.

Program of Payments for Ecological Services in Costa Rica

Edgar Ortiz Malavasi & John Kellenberg

This is an overview of the Costa Rican Payments for Environmental Services Program (PESP) system, wherein landowners receive direct payments for the ecological services generated by adopting land uses and forest management techniques.

Product Water Footprint Assessments: Practical Application in Corporate Water Stewardship

The Nature Conservancy & The Coca-Cola Company

Water footprint assessments can be helpful in supporting corporate water stewardship efforts by providing a tool to measure and understand water use throughout the supply chain. They can provide valuable insight into the largest components and locations of water consumption, the potential effects on local watersheds, and future water availability to serve the collective needs of communities, nature, producers, suppliers and companies. This report details three pilot water footprint assessments conducted for the Coca-Cola Company: Coca-Cola® in a 0.5 liter PET bottle produced by Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. (CCE) in the Netherlands, beet sugar supplied to Coca-Cola bottling plants in Europe, and MinuteMaid® orange juice and Simply Orange®, and produced for the North American market.

Principles for Pro-Poor Payment Systems

Sara Scherr

This is a presentation to a CARE/WWF workshop on Pro-Poor Payments for Environmental Services; Bogor, Indonesia.

Principles for Fairness and Efficiency in Enhancing Environmental Services in Asia


Based on action research in Asia in the Rewarding Upland Poor for Environmental Services they provide (RUPES) program since 2002, this policy brief examines three paradigms: “Commoditized ES (CES)”, “Compensation for Opportunities Skipped (COS)”, and “Co-Investment in (Environmental) Stewardship (CIS)”. Among the RUPES action research sites, there are several examples of CIS, i.e. co-investment in and shared responsibility for stewardship, with a focus on “assets” (natural + human + social capital) that can be expected to provide future flows of ES. CES, equivalent to a strict definition of PES, may represent an abstraction rather than a current reality. COS is a challenge when the legality of opportunities to reduce ES is contested.

Point - Nonpoint Trading: Can It Work?

Marc Ribaudo & Jessica Gottlieb

This paper considers why point-nonpoint trading programs in the US have historically posted low trading volumes. It identifies a number of impediments in program and incentive design and stakeholder perspectives and suggests  ways to address these problems.

PES Transaction and Contract Design Brief

Mark Ellis-Jones, Kelsey Jack, Rohit Jindal

This brief explains key decisions required by environmental service market intermediaries and/or buyers and sellers prior to contract formation, which contracts are provided in relevant draft form alongside this brief.Introduction: Market intermediaries in collaboration with buyers and sellers of environmental services (ES) (or buyers and sellers alone) are required to take decisions about payments for environmental services (PES) contract and transaction design. Necessary decisions are elaborated below and will assist in structuring the relationship between buyers and sellers – the “PES contracts”.

Payments for Watershed Services: Opportunities and Realities

Ivan Bond

This short brief discusses the rationale behind payments for watershed services and obstacles to realizing their theoretical benefits in developing countries.

Payments for Environmental Services: Some Nuts and Bolts

Sven Wunder

This paper aims to help demystify PES for non-economists, starting with a simple and coherent definition of the term. It then provides practical 'how-to' hints for PES design. It considers the likely niche for PES in the portfolio of conservation approaches. It concludes that service users will continue to drive PES, but their willingness to pay will only rise if schemes can demonstrate clear additionality vis-à-vis carefully established baselines, if trust-building processes with service providers are sustained, and PES recipients' livelihood dynamics is better understood. PES best suits intermediate and/or projected threat scenarios, often in marginal lands with moderate conservation opportunity costs. People facing credible but medium-sized environmental degradation are more likely to become PES recipients than those living in relative harmony with Nature. The choice between PES cash and in-kind payments is highly context-dependent. Poor PES recipients are likely to gain from participation, though their access might be constrained and non-participating landless poor could lose out. PES is a highly promising conservation approach that can benefit buyers, sellers and improve the resource base, but it is unlikely to completely outstrip other conservation instruments.

Payments for Ecosystem Services in Integrated Water Resources Management

United Nations Economic and Social Council

This document consists of a set of strategic recommendations for the various steps involved in the establishment and operation of various schemes for payments for ecosystem services (PES). A set of annexes deal with technical recommendations, including guidance for the decision-making process in PES establishment, annex II on valuation of water-related ecosystem services, types of PES arrangements and financial arrangements, examples of PES schemes applied in the UNECE region, and recent decisions of high-level meetings in support of PES. 

Payments for Ecological Services and Eco-Compensation: Practices and Innovations in the People's Republic of China

Eds. Qingfeng Zhang, Michael T. Bennett, Kunhamboo Kannan, & Leshan Jin

Policy makers in the People's Republic of China have been experimenting with new approaches to environmental management, resulting in a wide array of policy and program innovations under the broad heading of eco-compensation. Many of these are market-based instruments, particularly payments for ecological services—currently an emerging policy debate regarding the extent to which beneficiaries should pay, and the providers should be compensated—for the provision of natural resources and environmental services to promote sustainable, balanced growth. These proceedings are a collection of papers presented at the International Conference on Payments for Ecological Services convened in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region in September 2009 to support eco-compensation programs in the country.

Pay: Establishing Payments for Watershed Services

Mark Smith, Dolf de Groot, Daniele Perrot-Maître,& Ger Bergkamp

This guide offers an introduction to watershed payment mechanisms, and detailed guidance for Project Design and implementation. Topics covered include evaluating mechanisms for best fit, mobilizing financial resources, engaging stakeholders and institutions, managing negotiations, and operational considerations like developing a legal framework and ensuring compliance.

Participatory Management Handbook

Government of Spain Ministry of Environment

This handbook focuses on case studies and methods for engaging local communities and indigenous peoples in protecting wetlands. It is part of a series of handbooks by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands developed for those involved in implementation of wetland protection programs in all regions. By breaking participatory program development in to a series of steps and highlighting issues such as property rights it is a valuable resource.

Participatory Landscape Appraisal (PaLA)

World Agroforestry Centre

PaLA was designed through packaging some appropriate Rapid Rural Appraisal/ Participatory Rural Appraisal (RRA/PRA) tools/methods in combination with an approach of agro-ecological analysis in order to capture local knowledge at relevant temporal and spatial scales. PaLA can be used in scoping studies and for awareness-raising among community members on problems and issues connected with ecological and administrative boundaries. Following PALA as an early diagnostic tool, further appraisals can follow up on issues of local concern about, for example, water flows, soil erosion, slope stability or agro-biodiversity, defined in a participatory manner.

Participatory Conservation Planning Manual

Conservation Training and Resource Center/TNC

This manual describes an adaptation of the conventional Conservation Action Planning method (formerly known as Site Conservation Planning (SCP)), which draws on the strengths of CAP in eliciting qualitative information through a structured process, but adapts the methodology for use in rural (and other) communities. 

Participation and Social Assessment: Tools and Techniques

Rietbergen-McCracken, Jennifer and Deepa Narayan

This resource kit includes a series of modules on participatory apprpoaches including social assessment, stakeholder analysis, participatory methodologies, and participatory monitoring and evaluation. Modules include case studies, techniques and tools, and suggestions for planning training seminars.

Overview of Forest Hydrology and Forest Management Effects

Paul K. Barten, Ph.D.

This is a guide to principles of forest hydrology and generalized effects of forest management on water.


World Resources Institute

NutrientNet is a suite of online tools to facilitate trading of nutrient credits. It includes calculators for nitrogen and phosphorus credits, a trading platform, and public information on market activity.

Nutrient Tracking Tool

US Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), US Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Texas Institute for Applied Environment Research

The Nutrient Tracking Tool (NTT) compares agricultural management systems to calculate a change in nitrogen, Phosphorous, sediment loss potential, and crop yield. Agricultural producers and land managers can enter a baseline management system and an alternative conservation management system and produce a report showing the nitrogen, Phosphorous, sediment loss potential, and crop yield difference between the two systems.


Boston University

NLOAD is a web-based modeling tool produced by Boston University that allows users to estimate, or carry out simulations to estimate land-derived nitrogen loads, identify sources of land-derived nitrogen loads, ascertain effects of nitrogen loading on estuarine producers, and investigate possible options to manage nitrogen loads.

Nitrogen Loss and Environmental Assessment Package

US Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service

The Nitrogen Loss and Environmental Assessment Package (NLEAP) GIS 4.2 with NTT application can be used to assess how best management practices reduce the losses of reactive nitrogen, and potential trading of these savings in air and water quality markets. The new and advanced Nitrogen Loss and Environmental Assessment Package with GIS capabilities (NLEAP GIS 4.2) and a Nitrogen Trading Tool (NTT) application has several components programmed in different computer languages.

Nitrogen Index Tool

US Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service

The Nitrogen Index tool is designed to help nutrient managers quickly assess N loss risk related to agricultural N management.

New Business Decision-Making Aids in an Era of Complexity, Scrutiny, and Uncertainty

Sissel Waage, Kit Armstrong, Linda Hwang, and Ken Bagstad

This report summarizes findings from a comparative assessment of emerging ecosystem services tools. Decision-making aids seek to offer an ecosystem-oriented approach to considering corporate actions within the broader landscapes—both literally (in terms of effects on and across watersheds) and figuratively (in terms of ripple effects across economic and sociocultural contexts). BSR applied seven ecosystem services tools to the U.S. state of Arizona’s San Pedro Watershed, with the case study question of where to site a hypothetical residential housing development.

Negotiate: Reaching Agreements over Water

Dore, John. ed. ; Robinson, Julia, ed. ; Smith, Mark, ed.;

This guide aims to provide practical tools for government officials, NGOs and local communities to create platforms for negotiations that are balanced and open, in order to arrive at collaborative action to improve water resources management.The book contains a brief overview of theory in this field, followed by practical tools and steps to change power relations. It describes how to analyse the issues and political play involved, convince colleagues and stakeholders, set up campaigns and advocacy, set in place participatory methods, enter negotiations, and move towards a multi-stakeholder platform for action.

Methods for Defining Temperature Off-Set Credits

The Willamette Partnership

This document offers an overview of potential approaches to defining temperature credit units in the Willamette basin, Oregon.  It considers in turn thermal load reductions  via wastewater treatment facilities, flow augmentation, riparian & floodplain/hyporheic restoration, and wetlands discharge/restoration, as well as temporal and spatial considerations.

Measuring the Effectiveness of Water Funds

Goldman, Rebecca; Benitez, Silvia; Calvache, Alejandro and Montambault, Jensen

This report introduces readers to the water fund model and offers a framework to assess their effectiveness.

Marine Ecosystem Services Partnership

Marine Ecosystem Services Partnership

The Marine Ecosystem Services Partnership (MESP) is a virtual center for information and communication on the human uses of marine ecosystem services around the world. Responding to the growing library of economic valuation data, the Partnership strives to provide up-to-date and easily accessible data for the use of policy makers, environmental managers, researchers, and marine ecosystem stakeholders. In its first iteration, the MESP database held over 900 entries of economic valuation data representing over 2000 values.  Not intended to replace other databases, the Partnership strives to be a community of practice through which data users and managers can work collectively to better integrate ecosystem services data with marine policy needs. This collaboration is aided with the use of tools such as the valuation mapper – a dynamic map allowing users to burrow down through different types of data by inputting spatial and thematic queries.

Manual for Developing Payments for Hydrological Service Programs [IN SPANISH]

Mexican National Institute of Ecology

This manual, developed for Mexico's national 'Pagos por Servicios Ambientales Hidrológicos' (PSAH - in English, 'Payments for Hydrological Environmental Services') program, guides the user through developing a payment mechanism for watershed services in a community. It covers the full project development cycle from initial diagnostic studies and project design, to monitoring and evaluating an implemented project. In Spanish.

Lessons in the Development of Markets for Ecosystem Services in a Watershed Context: A Survey of Different Country Experiences

Germelino M. Bautista

This paper presents various approaches to watershed payments around the world. It also offers guidance on designing payment mechanisms and key considerations for PWS advocates.

Land-Use, Hydrological Function and Economic Valuation

Bruce Aylward

Involving Low-Income Forest Producers in Markets for Environmental Services

Sara Scherr, Natasha Landell-Mills, Joshua Bishop, & Herman Rosa

This is a presentation addressing key questions in how to include low income producers in ecosystem service markets.


The Natural Capital Project

InVEST (Integrated Valuation of Environmental Services and Tradeoffs) is a suite of tools for mapping and valuing ecosystem services that generates both biophysical and economic models. It is designed to enable decision-makers to identify ecosystem service benefit flows, priorities for protection and enhancement, and trade-offs between multiple services.

Integrating Conservation and Development in the Field: Implementing Ecosystem Service Projects

Heather Tallis, Rebecca Goldman, Melissa Uhl, and Berry Brosi

This paper examines ecosystem services projects bridge the gap between biodiversity conservation and socio-economic development. The authors review 103 projects in 37 countries undertaken by The Nature Conservancy and the World Wildlife Fund to find commonalities in approaches such as type of financial tools, targeting of working landscapes, and private sector engagement. The paper suggests a typology of nine project types and their usage contexts.

Integrated Water Resources Management Briefing

International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

This is a brief introduction to principles of integrated water resources management (IWRM) and recommendations for implementation.

Innovations in Market-based Watershed Conservation in the United States

Terhi Majanen, Rachel Friedman, & Jeffrey C. Milder

This report conveys findings from a survey of  payments for watershed services (PWS)-type programs across the United States, analysis of those mechanisms, including commonalities and challenges, and implications for scaling up the PWS model. The report focuses on innovative programs; better-known mechanisms for watershed payments like the Conservation Reserve Program are not included.

Indicators of Hydrological Alteration

The Nature Conservancy

This course provides the training for The Nature Conservancy's Indicators of Hydrological Alteration (IHA) software. IHA is used to assess how rivers, lakes and underground basins have been affected by human activities over time or to evaluate future water management scenarios. The training takes approximately two hours and is broken into seven lessons.

How does an Ecosystem Marketplace Work?

The Willamette Partnership

This document, produced by the Willamette Partnership, describes some of the players in an ecosystem market, the types of credits that can be traded and the next steps needed to meet the goals of a healthy and sustainable ecosystem and thriving economy.  It provides a good overview to readers unfamiliar with ecosystem service markets.

Half Full or Half Empty?

Dr. Olivia Jensen and Dr. Ceema Namazie

These are a set of guidelines intended to support financial institutions in integrating water-related risks into their risk management processes, by developing procedures to identify, assess and mitigate the material and reputational risks associated with water.

Guidelines for Developing Freshwater Wetlands Mitigation Plans and Proposals

Washington State Department of Ecology

These guidelines specify what should be included in an ecological assessment of a wetland site before restoration. The guidelines are organized as a detailed outline of an application, including assessment of the site and the mitigation approach. Although this document is now a more than a decade old, it may still be quite useful.

Guidelines for “Pro-Poor” Payments for Environmental Services

Stefano Pagiola

This is a short opinion brief offering some guidelines for project developers aiming to design a pro-poor payments for ecosystem services mechanism.

Guide to Environmental Markets for Farmers and Ranchers

Don Stuart & Dennis Canty with Katherine Killebrew

The Guide to Environmental Markets for Farmers and Ranchers, produced by the American Farmland Trust (AFT), provides an overview of available market opportunities for environmental credits and services, how farmers and ranchers can get involved in them, and ways to encourage their continued growth. The guide emphasizes forms of market participation that complement, rather than replace, agriculture, and how to carry out a realistic assessment of options. The AFT developed the guide specifically for farmers and ranches in Washington State, but much of its content should be useful at a wider scale.

Green Values Stormwater Management Calculator

Center for Neighborhood Technology

This tool allow users to make hydrological and financial comparisons between conventional stormwater management strategies and green interventions. Users can input site statistics, and a range of green infrastructure interventions to see outcomes in both hydrological (discharge and peak discharge by lot and site levels, total detention size requirements, and average annual discharge) and financial (life cycle costs, first-year site construction and maintenance costs, and benefits over a 100-year life cycle, by lot and in total) terms.

Great Miami River Watershed Water Quality Credit Trading Program Operations Manual

The Miami Conservancy District

  The Water Conservation Subdistrict of The Miami Conservancy District is proposing a Water Quality Credit Trading Program for the Great Miami River Watershed. This Operations Manual addresses all aspects of the Trading Program including program development, implementation, evaluation, and adaptation. 

Global Water Partnership ToolBox

Global Water Partnership

The ToolBox for integrated water resource management is a source of policy development, organization building and financial mechanisms to assist decision makers and practitioners in creating policies for sustainable water resources management. The ToolBox is derived from experience and knowledge from implementing integrated water resources management, worldwide. The ToolBox also includes dozens of case studies, organizational listings, reference materials and useful web site links including an overview of water markets and incentive programs with related case studies and references.

Getting Paid for Stewardship: An Agricultural Community WQT Guide

Conservation Technology Information Center

The reduction in pollution that a producer generates by implementing conservation practices can be "traded" with an industrial or municipal facility that is required by law to reduce the amount of pollution in its wastewater. The best part: the producer will get paid for the trade. The Conservation Technology Information Center, under a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, has developed a new guide to help the agricultural advisors understand why producers may want to participate in water quality trading and how water quality trading works. This guide introduces the elements that are key to the trading process, noting critical questions to keep in mind as you go. References for additional information are also included.

GENeric Model of RIVER Flow (GEN-RIVER) landscape level model

World Agroforestry Centre

Empirical assessment of the dynamics of water flows as a function of land cover change and soil properties takes time and resources, and needs to take temporal and spatial variation of rainfall into account. A model based on 'first principles' that integrates land cover change and change in soil properties as driving factors of changes in river flow can be used as a tool to explore scenarios of land use change, if it passes a 'validation' test against observed data. GenRiver is a generic river model on river flow.

Funding Green Infrastructure on a Watershed Basis: Lessons from the Pennypack Experience

Environmental Law Institute

This case study discusses efforts to secure public financing for watershed-scale green infrastructure projects in the Pennypack watershed near Philadelphia, PA. The experience of the four municipal authories seeking joint funding offers some lessons for improving the public infrastructure financing process. Existing guidelines were not accomodating of multi-municipal or numerous individual green projects coordinated at a watershed basis when green infrastructure is involved. The paper also notes a bias toward traditional infrastructure in guidelines for submittals. Suggestions for removing barriers to green infrastructure funding are offered.

From the Mountain to the Tap: How Land Use and Water Managements Can Work for the Rural Poor

Becky Hayward

Improved instrumentation, modelling, and geographic information systems make it possible to examine more closely the relationship between revegetation/reforestation and increased dry season streamflows. The UK Department for International Research funded a cluster of research projects in developing countries to test this link; this report summarizes findings. Lessons for policy were mixed. Advocates for a payments for ecosystem services (PES) approach may find in the report a cautionary tale; the authors conclude that models predicting dry season streamflows based on upstream vegetation "will not routinely support local payments for water services" given multiple uncertainties. The report recommends larger-scale payment schemes to overcome mixed results and complications locally.

Forest-to-Faucet Partnership

University of Massachusetts Amherst & The U.S. Forest Service Northeastern Area (State and Private Forestry) Watershed Program

The Forest-to-Faucet Partnership is a joint venture of the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the U.S. Forest Service Northeastern Area (State and Private Forestry) Watershed Program. It was established in 2001 to enhance the awareness, understanding and management of forests and water. The conservation of forests to simultaneously protect aquatic ecosystems and public water supplies is the primary focus of our work. The central goal of our research and development work—disseminated through this website, the peer-reviewed literature, presentations, and workshops—is to interpret and adapt scientific information to better meet the needs of watershed managers, foresters, environmental regulators, policy makers, non-governmental organizations, and community leaders. The Forest-to-Faucet website offers a number of tools and reports aiding in understanding and managing the forest conservation - water resources link.

Forests, Water and People Analysis

US Forest Service

The Forests, Water and People analysis uses maps produced in a geographic information system (GIS) to highlight the connection between forests and the protection of surface drinking water quality.The analysis developed maps for 540 watersheds in the Northeast and Midwest, using a four-step process to describe current and future conditions.

Forests for Water: Exploring Payments for Watershed Services in the U.S. South

Craig Hanson, John Talberth, & Logan Yonavjak

"Forests for Water: Exploring Payments for Watershed Services in the U.S. South" offers an introduction to payments for watershed services and other incentive-based mechanisms, and how these mechanisms might work to conserve forested watersheds in the Southern United States. The brief, which was produced by the World Resources Institute, covers possible participants in watershed services transactions and steps for landowners to take in valuing and marketing these services.

Flow: The Essentials of Environmental Flows

Eds. Megan Dyson, Ger Bergkamp & John Scanlon

"Flow: The Essentials of Environmental Flows" is a guide to the implementation of environmental flows in the river basins of the world. It explains how to assess flow requirements, change the legal and financial framework, and involve stakeholders in negotiations.‘Flow’ sets out a path from conflict over limited water resources and environmental degradation to a water management system that reduces poverty, ensures healthy rivers and shares water equitably. It is offered as part of the the IUCN Water and Nature Initiative (WANI)'s Toolkit series, which aims to support learning on mainstreaming an ecosystems approach in water resource management. The tools are aimed at practitioners, policy-makers and students from NGOs, governments and academia. Versions in Spanish, Portuguese, French, Chinese, Khmer, Vietnamese and Lao also available.

Fair deals for watershed services in the Caribbean

Sarah McIntosh, Nicole Leotaud

This report describes an action-learning project led by the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) that strengthened the capacity of national and regional institutions to assess the potential of economic instruments to improve the quality and delivery of watershed services in the Caribbean. It focuses on project sites and case studies in Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, while drawing on lessons of wider regional and international interest.

Fair deals for watershed services in Indonesia

Munawir, Sonja Vermeulen

Indonesia, like many countries, faces growing problems with water. Concerns include floods, low dry-season flows, sedimentation, contamination from run-off, and rising demand among competing end-users. Concerned suppliers and users of water at various localities around Indonesia are now experimenting with new approaches for managing watersheds. One such approach is payments for environmental services, in which water users compensate watershed land managers for land management that protects or improves water quality and flows. This report describes action research in Indonesia to take forward local environmental service payment initiatives at two sites, Brantas and Cidanau, and to spread learning more widely among interested people across the country.

Fair deals for watershed services in India

Chetan Agarwal, Sunandan Tiwari, Mamta Borgoyary, Amitangshu Acharya, Elaine Morrison

This report shares field experience and lessons in developing incentive-based mechanisms for watershed protection services and improved livelihoods at micro- and macro-scales at three locations in Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. The process, progress and problems in the three sites, and the initial findings, are presented. Key lessons are discussed and specific recommendations made.

Fair deals for watershed services in Bolivia

Maria Teresa Vargas, Nigel Asquith

Although Bolivia is one of the countries with the most water per capita in the world, and demand is about 1% of supply, localised water scarcity continues to breed conflicts. Despite many attempts at integrated watershed management, there have been few successes. Projects have rarely focused on improving efficiency or managing demand. Management has usually been through top-down laws and regulations, few of which have succeeded. This report assesses whether market tools can improve watershed management, and the livelihoods of watershed residents. It describes the studies commissioned as part of the analysis, what they were intended to assess, and their findings. The report concludes by offering lessons learned for negotiating fair deals for watershed services in Bolivia.

Fair Deals for Watershed Services

Ivan Bond and James Mayers

This report looks at lessons learned from efforts around the world to establish payments for watershed services (PWS) mechanisms. Much has been made about the potential benefits of PWS but little empiricial evidence has been collected to date. The authors find that PWS projects in practice are difficult to establish but seem to be delivering some initial benefits - especially in terms of highlighting the providers and beneficiaries of watershed services. On the other hand, PWS projects still suffer from a lack of demand, adequate compensation for services, and large-scale impacts.

Environmental Water Markets: Restoring Streams Through Trade

Brandon Scarborough

This report provides an introduction to instream flow transactions in the US west and an overview of the current market. It discusses current legal frameworks, regulatory obstacles, and mechanisms for using water rights markets to maintain and enhance environmental flows. The report also provides data on transactions including expenditures and volumes transacted for environmental purposes.

Ecosystems for Water and Food Security


This report advances an ecosystem services framework for addressing the twin challenges of water and food security. It reviews challenges and solutions to water pollution/scarcity and agricultural production in agroecosystems, and offers recommendations for implementing integrated water resources management (IWRM) approaches, valuation of ecosystem services, and managing agroecosystems as multifunctional landscapes.

Ecosystem Services: Quantification, Policy Applications, and Current Federal Capabilities

Lynn Scarlett & James Boyd

This is a survey of federal programs currently supporting ecosystem services measurement, analysis, and investment. The report is structured in three parts: an overview of federal capabilities around ecosystem service quantification, a summary of existing incentives and market mechanisms, and key recommendations for policy and national strategy.

Ecosystem Services Review for Impact Assessment: Introduction and Guide to Scoping

Florence Landsberg, Suzanne Ozment, Mercedes Stickler, Norbert Henninger, Jo Treweek, Orlando Venn, & Greg Mock

Regulators and performance standards are increasingly require environmental & social impact assessments to consider ecosystem services, but to date there is a dearth of guidance on how to do so. This working paper offers a framework and step-by-step guidance for practitioners conducting an "Ecosystem Services Review for Impact Assessment." The paper includes an introduction to the framework and the scoping stage of impact assessment; a second working paper, "Ecosystem Services Review for Impact Assessment: Guide to Impact Analysis and Mitigation" covers later stages of assessment.

Ecosystem Service Valuation and Watershed Resources: An Annotated Literature Review

Timothy J. Dalton & Kelly Cobourn

This paper provides a literature review covering the theoretical basis and empirical studies to date for ecosystem service valuation. It includes a review of valuation studies focused specifically on multiple services generated by agriculture. The field has advanced since the paper's publication in 2003, but it offers a good introduction to some of the  theoretical foundations of valuation.

Ecosystem Service Market Development: The Role and Opportunity for Finance

Ray Hartwell, Bruce Aylward, Sue Lurie, Sally Duncan, & Katrina Van Dis

The creation of tradable credits for the development or preservation of ecosystem services has emerged as a method to provide payments for land and water stewardship. One obstacle to the emergence of markets for these credits is a lack of financing for projects seeking to develop ecosystem services and their credits. The research effort described here seeks to develop innovative financial mechanisms and approaches to meet this need.

Ecosystem Management & Restoration Information System

US Army Corps of Engineers

EMRIS is an online information retrieval system designed to improve the quality and efficiency of Corps district activities relative to ecosystem considerations. EMRIS encourages users to address planning and management with a flexible ecosystem perspective by providing a large selection of regional information relevant to a study area. This database contains a multitude of information searchable by topic. Topics include: ecosystem management; project development; decision support tools; training; legal matters; and plants, animals and communities.

Economic Valuation of Wetlands: A Guide for Policy Makers and Planners

Edward D Barbier, Mike Acreman, & Duncan Knowler

This document provides information on wetland valuation and guidance on how valuation studies should be conducted. This document groups the features of wetland systems into components, functions, and attributes, and develops an appraisal framework for assessing economic benefits. This text also provides six wetland valuation case studies from around the world.

Economic Valuation of Watershed Systems: A Tool for Improved Water Resource Management

Jeffrey Goldberg

This paper, prepared as a background note for the VI Inter-American Dialogue on Water Resource Management, discusses the current state of knowledge regarding economic analysis tools for watershed degradation and protection and ongoing challenges and opportunities for using cost-benefit analysis for watershed management, drawing on case studies. Finally, it argues for assigning market values to major downstream benefits of watershed management in order to optimize ecological, economic, and social benefits.

Economic and Ecological Rules for Water Quality Trading

Richard D. Horan & James S. Shortle

This paper how specific characteristics of water pollution shape water quality trading markets in ways that depart from the 'textbook' trading model. The authors identify fundamental design tasks for regulators and market advocates.



EcoMetrix is a methodology for evaluating ecosystem services at the site level. The methodology covers baseline assessment, functional performance indicators, evaluation scenarios for future change, and linking results to landscape-level analyses and goals.

Eco-Compensation for Watershed Services in the People's Republic of China

Qingfeng Zhang & Michael T. Bennett

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) is seeking new approaches to improve water management outcomes in the face of a growing water crisis caused by ongoing pollution control and watershed management challenges. This has included numerous experiments in “eco-compensation” (which shares characteristics with payments for ecological services). This paper details progress in creating a national eco-compensation ordinance and discusses the ongoing institutional challenges in its effective development. Water is possibly the single most-pressing resource bottleneck of economic growth for the PRC over the medium term. As such, the degree to which such initiatives are ultimately successful is not only critical for the PRC but also has major ramifications for global food, fuel, and commodity markets and production chains.

Developing Markets for Water Services from Forests

Nels Johnson, Andy White, and Danièle Perrot-Maître

This document condenses the learning from the Case Studies of Markets and Innovative Financial Mechanisms for Water Services from Forests in to an overview for those interested in creating or participating in these types of markets. It looks at both the potential benefits and pitfalls of ecosystem service markets and how linking the payment to actions that actually create desired benefits is difficult. With an easy to understand format this is an excellent introductory and overview document.

Conservation Finance Guide

Conservation Finance Alliance

The Conservation Finance Guide presents a host of potential financing opportunities for nature conservation in general, with a special focus on protected area management. Many of these finance mechanisms rely on a "market-based" approach, valuing and marketing the goods and services that a protected area generates in support of local livelihoods and the broader economy. Such mechanisms are an innovative departure for protected areas used to relying on short-term, grant funding. They should be considered as complementary funding sources to government appropriations, not a substitute.

Conservation Finance e-Resources: A Compendium of Examples for Self-Sustaining Projects

Anthony Sherman

Available on-line only, this e-document is a tutorial provided by WWF's Center for Conservation Finance to assist any individual with an interest in finding ways to help sustainably finance conservation. Conservation finance, unlike grants or donor based philanthropy, relies on financial techniques at the macro and micro level, to generate revenue for establishing, operating, and protecting the natural world. Various conservation finance publications, descriptions and examples of actual applications of conservation finance techniques with links to relevant databases and websites are provided within this e-document.

Comparison Tables of State Nutrient Trading Programs in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Evan Branosky, Cy Jones, and Mindy Selman

The World Resources Institute (WRI) has compiled into comparison tables the key design elements of the four state trading programs. The tables comprise a reference document for policymakers and others addressing the programs’ differences. These design elements are grouped into twelve categories based on their common characteristics. All the information is current as of May 2011; was paraphrased directly from the statute, regulation, policy, or guidance documents; and has been reviewed by trading experts. Nonetheless, this information will undoubtedly change as the states refine their strategies for implementing the TMDLs.

Communicating Ecosystem Services

Ecological Society of America

The goal of the Communicating Ecosystem Services web site is to increase the public's awareness of the importance of ecosystem services. The site provides a series of Tool Kits for scientists and other professionals to communicate the inportance of ecosystem services. The materials are designed to be useful when addressing local media, community groups, state legislators or other audiences. The Tool Kits provide background information on specific ecosystem services, as well as general tips and suggestions for developing presentations or writing articles for a non-scientific audience.

Collecting the Drops: Toward Creative Water Strategies

Global Environmental Management Initiative

"Connecting the Drops: Toward Creative Water Strategies" includes a suite of learning modules, case studies, and resources to help businesses develop sound water strategies. The toolkit offers guidance in assessing water use and impacts, identifying risks and opportunties, and developing systems for tracking and managing water resource management. "Connecting the Drops: Toward Creative Water Strategies" also includes a comprehensive overview of the business case for water sustainability.  Available as pdf and from

Collecting the Drops: A Water Sustainability Planner

Global Environmental Management Initiative

"Collecting the Drops: A Water Sustainability Planner" is a set of tools developed by the Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI) to help businesses assess their water use and impacts, and better understand how water resources management can affect "license to operate." The toolkit will be especially useful to facilities staff and/or a business' operating division, and includes training modules on water use and impacts and water management risk assessment, impact calculators, and case examples.  Available in pdf and at

Climate Change Handbook for Regional Water Planning

California Department of Water Resources

Developed cooperatively by California's Department of Water Resources (DWR), The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Resources Legacy Fund, and The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Climate Change Handbook for Regional Water Planning provides a framework for considering climate change in water management planning. Key decision considerations, resources, tools, and decision options are presented that will guide resource managers and planners as they develop means of adapting their programs to a changing climate.The handbook uses DWR's Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) planning framework as a model into which analysis of climate change impacts and planning for adaptation and mitigation can be integrated.

Cheney Lake Watershed: Farming Water Quality in Kansas

Reed Watson & Brandon Scarborough

What began with informal discussions about water quality among area farmers in the Cheney Lake Watershed is now a well-organized watershed-wide program aimed at improving water quality, protecting Wichita’s primary water source, maintaining fish and wildlife habitat, and reducing sediment runoff without sacrificing agricultural production. Among the roughly 1,000 farmers, more than 2,000 conservation practices have been implemented on a voluntary basis. The farmers of Cheney Lake Watershed have illustrated that responsible land management begins with the landowner and that a bottom-up approach to watershed management works.

Charting our Water Future: Economic Frameworks to Inform Decision-Making

McKinsey & Co.

Growing competition for scarce water resources is a growing business risk, a major economic threat, and a challenge for the sustainability of communities and the ecosystems upon which they rely. This report provides greater clarity on the scale of the water challenge and how it can be met in an affordable and sustainable manner. The report offers case studies from four countries with drastically different water issues, which will collectively account for 40 percent of the world’s population, 30 percent of global GDP and 42 percent of projected water demand in 2030: China, India, South Africa and Brazil. The report’s methodology identifies supply- and demand-side measures that could constitute a more cost effective approach to closing the water gap and achieve savings in each country.

Characteristics of Watershed Restoration Funding

Josh Hurd

This paper reviews watershed restoration funding in California, Montana, and Oregon; Humboldt County within California; and the watersheds of Lake Tahoe, Puget Sound, the Everglades, and Chesapeake Bay. It covers sources of local, state, and federal funding from projects. The author finds that successful large-scale projects tend to draw on a variety of funding sources and mechanisms, and that over-reliance on issuing debt may be a threat to long-term viability.

Change : Adaptation of Water Resources Management to Climate Change

International Union for Conservation of Nature

"Change: Adaptation of Water Resources Management to Climate Change" offered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, outlines the challenges facing water professionals making decisions in the face of the uncertainties posed by climate change. This book outlines a new management approach that moves beyond technical quick fixes towards a more adaptive style that is inclusive and innovative. Only by thinking, working and learning together can we tackle the impacts on water resources and uncertainties induced by climate change. It is offered as part of the the IUCN Water and Nature Initiative (WANI)'s Toolkit series, which aims to support learning on mainstreaming an ecosystems approach in water resource management. The tools are aimed at practitioners, policy-makers and students from NGOs, governments and academia. Versions in Spanish and French available.

Challenges to Establishing Markets for Watershed Services: Learning from Country Diagnostics

Tighe Geoghegan

This paper summarizes diagnostic studies undertaken in Caribbean, India, Indonesia and South Africa by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and local partners in 2001-2002, examining current use and future potential of market mechanisms for watershed management and protection. The studies found - perhaps unsurprisingly - low existing demand to pay for watershed services from possible 'buyers', though considerable evidence suggested the potential benefits of market mechanisms. The complexity of designing watershed payment instruments that both engaged and protected the livelihoods of the poor was a common theme, as was the difficulties of recovering costs from beneficiaries that watershed managers faced in all regions studied.

Ceres Aqua Gauge: A Framework for 21st Century Water Risk Management

Ceres and WBCSD

Ceres' Aqua Gauge is an Excel-based tool designed to help investors assess a company's water management performance and score it against leading practice. It offers a "Quick Guage" option for rapid analysis and a more comprehensive approach. The Aqua Gauge should also be valuable to companies interesting in measuring their own water management activities.

Causal Analysis/Diagnosis Decision Information System

US Environmental Protection Agency

More than 1,000 water bodies in the United States are listed by states as biologically impaired and, in many cases, the cause of the impairment is reported as “unknown.” Understanding the causes of impairment is key to formulating an appropriate management action.In 2006, ORD released the first of three planned versions of the Causal Analysis/Diagnosis Decision Information System (CADDIS). CADDIS is an online application designed to help regions, states, and tribes evaluate the causes of biological effects observed in streams, lakes, estuaries, and other aquatic systems. Based on EPA's Stressor Identification (SI) Guidance Document, CADDIS effectively updates EPA's process for identifying stressors that cause biological impairments in aquatic ecosystems and includes clarifications and additional material developed since EPA initially developed and published the SI process.

Catalog of Federal Funding Sources for Watershed Protection

US Environmental Protection Agency

The Catalog of Federal Funding Sources for Watershed Protection provides database searches for watershed practitioners on funding programs based on subject matter criteria (e.g. non-profit groups, private landowner, state, business), the type of assistance sought (grants or loans), and keywords (e.g. agriculture, wildlife habitat). The Catalog provides factsheets on 69 funding sources and contact information.

Can Rewards for Providing Environmental Services Benefit the Poor?


Rewards for environmental services (RES) link global priorities on poverty reduction and environmental sustainability and are designed to balance effectiveness and efficiency with fairness and propoor characteristics. This paper assesses some key issues associated with design and implementation of RES by developing and exploring two propositions related to conditions required for RES to effectively contribute to poverty alleviation, and to preferred forms of pro-poor mechanisms.

Buyer, Regulator, and Enabler: The Government's Role in Ecosystem Services Markets

Sara J. Scherr & Michael T. Bennett

To provide insights for policy makers in the People's Republic of China in the development of a national ecocompensation policy framework, this paper discusses the public sector’s role in payments for ecological services internationally.

Building Nutrient Trading Protocols

The Willamette Partnership

The Willamette Partnership has been developing a nutrient trading protocol to increase water quality, and helping others develop protocols to fit the needs and challenges of their local markets. This graphic, "Building Nutrient Trading Protocols," was designed as a tool to help organizations around the country to idenitfy those issues that typically need to be tailored to the goals of each program, arranged into the steps fo the general crediting process.

Beyond Compliance: Transforming the Way we Manage, Regulate, Restore and Sustain Ecosystems through Counting on the Environment

The Willamette Partnership

This document chronicles the development of the Counting on the Environment project in the Willamette Basin - initial ideas and technical foundation through 2007.  Many background and technical documents are linked within.

Better Assessment Science Integrating Point and Nonpoint Sources

US Environmental Protection Agency

Basins is an open source, freely distributable GIS tool for watershed analysis and monitoring.

Bear River Watershed Trading Calculator

Bear River Watershed Information System

This trading calculator was developed to support phosphorus trading in the Bear River Watershed. Users can simulate trades to evaluate potential load reductions and likely costs of those reductions. Click the link to view the model and technical documentation.

Assessment of the economic value of Muthurajawela wetland

Emerton, Lucy ; Kekulandala, L.D.C.B.

The Muthurajawela Marsh is part of an integrated coastal wetland system of high biodiversity and ecological significance. Yet it is subject to intense and growing pressures from urban, residential, recreational and industrial development. The short-term economic gains that have influenced land and resource use decisions have neglected to take into consideration the economic value of wetland goods and services. Number 4 in the series of Occasional Papers of IUCN Sri Lanka, this publication attempts to contribute to an understanding of the economic benefits of wetland conservation and the economic costs of wetland degradation and loss in Muthurajawela.

Assessing the Effectiveness of Payment Arrangements for Watershed Ecosystem Services (PWES)

Sylvia S. Tognetti, Guillermo Mendoza, Douglas Southgate, Bruce Aylward, & Luis Garcia

This paper, submitted to the Third Latin American Congress on Watershed Management, sets out key components of a site-specific assessment process for PWES intiatives. It identifies challenges to assessment and covers key information priorities in biophysical, institutional, and economic terms.

ARIES: ARtificial Intelligence for Ecosystem Services

ARIES Consortium

ARIES is a suite of web-based applications designed to help users carry out a rapid ecosystem service assessment and valuation. It uses ecological and socio-economic data to generate and map information on ecosystem service provision, values, and uses. It is an open-source software and free for governmental and non-profit use.



AQUASTAT is FAO's global information system on water and agriculture developed by the Land and Water Development Division of FAO. The objective of AQUASTAT is to provide users with comprehensive information on the state of agricultural water management across the world, with emphasis on developing countries and countries in transition. The information system consists of country profiles, regional reviews, water resources by country, links and online documents on water and agriculture.

Andean Hydrology Bibliography

FONAG, US Forest Service, USAID

This is a bibliography of recent work in Andean hydrology prepared by FONAG and USFS/USAID for a Hydrological Monitoring Workshop in Quito, Ecuador in January 2012. It covers current research relevant to watershed management including hydrological processes in páramos (high altitude grasslands), erosion processes, land use change effects, climate change impacts, and high-altitude ecological services. Abstracts in the bibliography are in Spanish, though the papers cited are in English.

An Introduction and User's Guide to Wetland Restoration, Creation, and Enhancement

Interagency Workgroup on Wetland Restoration

This document, produced by the Interagency Working Group, is intended to guide non-technical readers in designing, constructing, and maintaining a wetland project. It includes appendices with additional resources including relevant contacts, documents, and additional information specific to region and wetland type.

An Eco-Compensation Policy Framework for the People's Republic of China: Challenges and Opportunities

Qingfeng Zhang, Tun Lin, Michael T. Bennett & Leshan Jin

Economic growth has multiplied the environmental challenges faced by the People's Republic of China but has also created opportunities, by increasing available funding for environmental management and conservation. At the nexus of these countervailing trends, policy makers have been experimenting with new approaches to environmental management under the broad heading of "eco-compensation". Many of these are market-based, particularly payments for ecosystem services; an emerging policy debate is regarding the extent to which beneficiaries should pay, and the providers should be compensated, for the provision of natural resources and environmental services to promote sustainable, balanced growth. This paper synthesizes the findings of the International Conference on Payments for Ecological Services convened in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region in September 2009 to support eco-compensation programs in the country.

An Artificial Distinction: Addressing Water Quantity Concerns Under the Clean Water Act

Merritt Frey

This paper looks at existing tools in the Clean Water Act for protecting in-stream flows, and thereby breaking down the regulatory wall between water quality and water quantity governance. The authors focus on five southwestern states - CO, NV, UT, AZ, and NM - and four possibly policy tools: water quality standards, 401 water quality certification, 303(d) impaired waters listing and TMDL development, and Category 4C waters listing.

All That Glitters

Ina Porras, Maryanne Grieg-Gran, Nanete Neves

This report follows the earlier "Silver Bullet or Fool's Gold" report in surveying major global trends, characteristics, and socioeconomic impacts of payments for watershed services (PWS projects) worldwide.

A Watershed Approach to Improve Water Quality: Case Study of Clean Water Services’ Tualatin River Program

Bobby Cochran & Charles Logue

This case study details the creation and performance of a thermal load offset program on the Tualatin River developed by Clean Water Services, an Oregon utility. It reviews Clean Water Services' experience against often-cited factors of successful trading programs.

A Preliminary Analysis of Water Quality Trading Opportunities in the Great Miami River Watershed, Ohio

Keiser & Associates

This report offers a preliminary economic analysis  of water quality trading opportunities in the Great Miami River watershed, completed for the Miami Conservancy District.  The analysis seeks to answer these critical questions: 1) Is there an adequate supply of agricultural nonpoint source reductions of phosphorus and nitrogen to meet point source demand; and 2) Are the cost differentials between point source upgrades and trading sufficient to support a trading program?

A Place in the World: A Review of the Global Debate on Tenure Security

Lynn Ellsworth

This is a literature review of major schools of thought around property rights, with a focus on forests. The author identifies and compares four major western academic traditions - "Property Rights," "Agrarian Structure," "Common Property," and "Institutionalist." The comparison is instructive in clarifying different notions of tenure security and its relationship to improving livelihoods in communities managing forest resources.

A Knowledge and Assessment Guide to Support the Development of Payment Arrangements for Watershed Ecosystem Services (PWES): Full Report

Sylvia S. Tognetti, Guillermo F. Mendoza, Bruce Aylward, Douglas Southgate & Luis Garcia

This paper looks at the scientific and physical hydrologic basis that payment schemes for watershed ecosystem services attempt to improve. The authors contend that payments for watershed ecosystem services are frequently based on generalizations that may not be true in the watersheds where the program operates. Through tackling common myths about watershed management and looking at the need for monitoring and information collection, good science and institutional arrangements are encouraged to assure the intended results are produced from payment programs. The report looks at how water modeling and water balances should be used to analyze watersheds for expected outcomes from changing land use practices.

A Handbook for Integrated Water Resources Management in Basins

Global Water Partnership & International Network of Basin Organizations

The overall purpose of the handbook is to provide a practical guide to practitioners for the application of IWRM principles and practices at the river basin, lake and aquifer level. The handbook for practitioners will provide practical advice and guidance on a variety of practical issues that arise in the context of basin management, including legal conditions, institutional arrangements, data and information, strategic planning, financial issues, performance indicators, capacity development, and participation mechanisms. The handbook was launched at the 5th World Water Forum in Istanbul (March 2009).

A Guide to Creating Vernal Ponds: All the Information You Need to Build and Maintain an Ephemeral Wetland

Thomas R. Biebighauser

A Guide to Creating Vernal Ponds by the US Forest Service aims to assist individuals in selecting appropriate locations for vernal ponds and building them successfully. The guide describes techniques that have been successfully used in Kentucky, Ohio and Minnesota, and likely have applications for geographic areas in the US east of the Rocky Mountains. The techniques in this guide couple basic pond building principles with concepts of vernal pool ecology.

A Compendium of Financing Sources and Tools to Fund Freshwater Conservation

Jonathan Mathieu

This report reviews available funding options for freshwater conservation projects. It offers an overview of traditional public funding sources as well as market-based environmental financing options. The review focuses on mechanisms with strong track records or future potential and those most useful in at a large river basin scale for restoration.

A Centralized Exchange Platform for Trading in an Ecosystem Credit Accounting System

Willamette Partnership

This technical memorandum presents the Draft Market Framework recommended for consideration by the Willamette Partnership. This draft framework introduces the summary results of a gap analysis that, together with feedback received on previous presentations of alternative market elements and market models, informed the development of the recommended centralized framework.

Working for Water: PES in South Africa

Columbia University

In South Africa, Working for Water provides one of the longest-standing and most successful examples of payments for ecosystem services (PES). Initiated in 1995 just one year after the end of apartheid, the program organizes poor South Africans in local communities to eradicate invasive alien plants (IAPs) through country's Department of Water Affairs and Forestry.

Watershed-Based Permitting Case Study: General Permit for Nitrogen Discharges: Long Island Sound

US Environmental Protection Agency

This bullet point format case study gives an overview of a complex permitting process for sewage discharges to the Long Island Sound which contribute the majority of nitrogen to this nitrogen impaired water body. This permitting strategy allocates different pollutant standards based on proximity to problems in the watershed and allows trading between sources. The market for pollutant reductions is opened further by the creation of the Nitrogen Credit Exchange insuring a purchaser for any excess credits produced by the dischargers.

The Social Impacts of Payments for Environmental Services in Costa Rica: A Quantitative Field Survey and Analysis of the Virilla Watershed

Miriam Miranda, Ina T Porras & Mary Luz Moreno

In 1996 Costa Rica implemented an innovative programme of Payments for Environmental Services (PES). Through this programme, forest and plantation owners are financially and legally acknowledged for the environmental services their forests provide to the community, both nationally and globally. By means of a case study of the Virilla watershed in Costa Rica, and using as a basis for analysis the Sustainable Livelihoods framework, this report examines the impacts the PES programme has on financial, human, social, physical and environmental capital.

Sustainable Resource Management in Malawi

Aimee Barnes, Matthew Ebright, Emily Gaskin & William Strain

The Lake Chilwa Wetland Project in Malawi attempts to prevent the overexploitation of Lake Chilwa's natural wealth and biodiversity. The project developed community groups and institutions to sustainably manage the resources. As markets already existed locally for the lake's natural products, the purpose was to insure the continuation of the resource extraction while maintaining the integrity of the ecosystem.

Sasumua Water Treatment Plant - Kenya

Aimee Barnes, Matthew Ebright, Emily Gaskin & William Strain

The Sasumua Water Treatment Plant is a payment for ecosystem services project which seeks to provide water quality services by paying upstream farmers and pastoralists to change their cultivation practices. Though not yet fully operational at the time of the case study's writing, the Sasumua case highlights many strengths of PES, as well as many of the factors strongly influencing its success.

Rooftops to Rivers II

Natural Resources Defense Council

This report examines fourteen case studies where cities around the United States have adopted green infrastructure solutions to reduce stormwater pollution. These cities have found that a green infrastructure approach - such as green roofs, permeable pavement, rain gardens, and street trees - is often more cost-effective than traditional stormwater management infrastructure like storage systems and pipes. It also provides ancillary benefits including flood resilience and even increased water supplies. offers key policy and technical recommendations for cities, states, and at the federal level to promote and optimize green infrastructure investments.

Rahr Malting Company, Watershed Based Permitting

US Environmental Protection Agency

This short update states that Rahr Malting Company successfully created phosphorous reductions through nonpoint source pollution reductions. The company exceeded its permit of 150 pounds of CBOD reductions per day by completing four trades resulting in 204 pounds of reductions per day.

Payments for Watershed Services - Pimampiro, Ecuador

Aimee Barnes, Matthew Ebright, Emily Gaskin & William Strain

This is a case study reporting on a payments for watershed services (PWS) arrangement in Pimampiro, Ecuador to maintain forest cover and ensure clean water supplies.

Paying for Environmental Performance: Potential Cost Savings Using a Reverse Auction

Mindy Selman, Suzie Greenhaigh, Michael Taylor, & Jenny Guiling

In a reverse auction, multiple sellers compete to provide services (environmental outcomes) to a single buyer. This policy note documents a reverse auction in the Connestoga watershed where farmers and ranchers competed for government funding to implement management practices to reduce phosphorus runoff, with payments awarded based on the most cost-effective proposals. On average, the reverse auction resulted in a seven-fold increase in the reduction of phosphorus runoff per dollar spent compared to EQIP during the same period and in the same watershed. Increasing the use of quantitative measurements of performance, using measures of cost-effectiveness to rank funding applicants, and allowing a competitive bidding process are all expected to improve the conservation funding allocation process. 

La Aguada and the Siembra del Agua Project

Aimee Barnes, Matthew Ebright, Emily Gaskin & William Strain

This short case study examines the La Aguada and Siembra del Agua payments for ecosystem services (PES) projects in Bolivia, wherein a local water cooperative negotiated payments for protection of riparian areas via livestock fencing, with payments designed to compensate cattle farmers for the loss of access to water.

Hunter River Salinity Trading Scheme: Working Together to Protect River Quality and Sustain Economic Development

New South Wales Environmental Protection Authority

This case study provides an overview of the Hunter River Salinity Trading Scheme program, which uses quantitative models to allocate salinity discharges allowed by permit holders depending on water flow and salinity. The program involves online trading of salinity credits between permit holders and has succeded in reducing salinity to acceptable levels when past levels were threatening to downstream irrigators.

How New York City Used an Ecosystem Services Strategy Carried out Through an Urban-Rural Partnership to Preserve the Pristine Quality of Its Drinking Water and Save Billions of Dollars

Albert Applton

The New York City watershed protection program may be the most well known example of economics driving a decision to invest in water based ecosystem services. In this narrative Albert Appleton, former Commissioner of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection and Director of the New York City Water and Sewer system, discusses the social and political process of developing this program. He gives insights in to the difficulty of breaking with status quo policy approaches and the benefits for following instinct allowing for innovation and cooperation that resulted in saving New York City billions of dollars and protecting their environment.

Brazil: Redistributing federal taxes for stewardship of protected areas

Aimee Barnes, Matthew Ebright, Emily Gaskin & William Strain

"ICMS ecológico" is a tax-revenue proportioning scheme in Brazil designed to effectively protect land for the purpose of improving water quality and biodiversity. The project seeks to compensate counties and municipalities for their active stewardship in abstaining from unsustainable exploitation of protected areas. Historically, local communities had been reluctant to set aside these lands or effectively comply with restrictions on their use because it limited possibilities for revenue generation and economic growth.

Case Studies of Markets and Innovative Financial Mechanisms for Water Services from Forests

Danièle Perrot-Maître, Patsy Davis

This paper examines existing market and financial mechanisms that are being used to provide hydrological services from watersheds and to assist forest owners and policymakers in assessing the advisability and feasibility of using such mechanisms.

Strategies for Strengthening Community Property Rights Over Forests: Lessons and Opportunities for Practitioners

Andy White, and Alejandra Martin

Tenure security has recently become a central concern of poverty, forest conservation and human rights advocates alike. Poverty experts now recognize that the world's poor are disproportionately located in rural areas and strongly dependent upon forest resources for their survival. Recent studies indicate that about 80 percent of the extreme poor, those living on less than one dollar a day, depend on forest resources for their livelihoods. One billion people depend almost entirely on forests for their medicinal resources and about the same number depend on forests for their fuel needs. The poor are also directly dependent on the many ecosystem services of forests, particularly watershed services and biodiversity.

Beyond Carbon: Biodiversity and Water Markets

Ecosystem Marketplace

The use of markets and market-based mechanisms to conserve and pay for ecosystem services is a growing global trend that is gaining a solid foothold not just in the carbon markets, but also biodiversity and water markets. Furthermore, these payments for ecosystem services (PES) are a practice that is no longer solely important to environmentalists but has become of essential interest to small local communities, government regulators, businesses, and financiers all over the world. PES encompass innovative private deals, financing schemes, and government programs that have been structured around the premise that natural ecosystems provide valuable services, and that if marketed correctly, these services might help watershed and biodiversity conservation pay for itself and generate income for those willing to participate.This booklet is meant to serve as context and provide background for the Katoomba conference: "Avoiding Deforestation in the Amazon through PES Markets" held in Mato Grosso, Brazil in April 2009. 

For Services Rendered

The Current Status and Future Potential of Markets for the Ecosystem Services Provided by Tropical Forests

Sara Scherr, Andy White, Arvind Khare

The past decade has seen the widespread emergence of markets and other payment schemes for forest ecosystem services - such as watershed protection, biodiversity protection and carbon sequestration -around the world. At a global scale, several recent reviews indicate that these activities are nascent and still limited in scope and scale, but that they may have potential to be scaled up to regional, river-basin or national levels with further development.

Beyond Borders: PES and REDD in the ASEAN Region

Ecosystem Marketplace, Forest Trends, Katoomba Group

An Insight Series publication covering: Payments for Ecosystem Services: Scaling Up…and Down State of the Forest Carbon Markets Asia Round Peg, Square Hole: Forest Carbon under Existing Law in Southeast Asia Oddar Meanchey: REDD in Cambodia Participatory Forest Management EM Cheat Sheet: What is a Social Impact Assessment? Asian Governments Explore Ecosystem Markets for Environmental Protection The State of Play in MRV and REDD The Prospects for PES in Vietnam The Potential of Biodiversity Offsets in Vietnam China and PES: New Approaches for Environmental Forestry

Aprendiendo sobre Compensación y Pagos por Servicios Ambientales [IN PORTUGUESE]

Rebecca Anzueto Estrada

Tools for the Tides

Exploring Coastal and Marine Markets

Scores of projects across both the developed and developing worlds are using environmental finance to preserve endangered species, improve water quality, and preserve wetlands — all based on the premise that nature’s living ecosystems deliver valuable services that make them worth more alive than dead. Now it’s time to expand this reasoning to the ocean, where fish are vanishing, coasts are eroding, and algae are having a field day.

State of Watershed Payments: An Emerging Marketplace

Tracy Stanton, Marta Echavarria, Katherine Hamilton, & Caroline Ott

The report represents an attempt at cataloguing the use of PWS across the world connected to the amount of money being transacted. The emphasis here is on the word “attempt.” By its own admission this catalogue is not exhaustive. By means of online searches, interviews, questionnaires, emails, and phone calls, the Ecosystem Marketplace (EM) team tracked watershed payments mechanisms and how they're being used to protect and improve water quality and flows.

Payments for Ecosystem Services: Getting Started in Marine and Coastal Ecosystems - A Primer

Forest Trends and Katoomba Group

This primer is designed to provide you with a solid understanding of what payments for ecosystem services (PES) are and how PES deals work in the marine environment. 

Paying Poseidon

Financing the Protection of Valuable Ecosystem Services

Steve Zwick, Rob Luke, Ameer Abdulla, Erik Ness, Alice Kenny, Tundi Agardy, & Winnie Lau

These articles were commissioned by Ecosystem Marketplace to serve as context and provide background for the MARES Katoomba Meeting, held in Palo Alto, California, on February 9–10, 2010.

Laying the Foundation: An Analytical Tool for Assessing Legal and Institutional Readiness for PES

Slayde Hawkins

This booklet has been created as an initial resource for public sector officials interested in fostering an environment in which PES transactions can occur. While PES legal and policy readiness is likely to look very different from one country to another—depending on legal frameworks, as well as historical and current circumstances and pressures—understanding policy options for getting ready for PES transactions is an important first step towards assessing readiness within a specific national context.

Creating New Values for Africa: Emerging Ecosystem Service Markets

Eds. Steve Zwick, Tommie Herbert, & Anne Thiel

This booklet contains 12 featured projects and initiatives which demonstrate the current innovations and challenges to carbon, water, biodiversity PES implementation in Africa. Our hope is that this publication, (coupled with training sessions, policy advice, legal analysis, and network building) will enable community leaders, government actors, NGO technical staff, project developers and other interested persons to gain access to PES best practice, build a local community of PES learning, craft policies that are supportive of PES, and design PES projects which provide lasting ecosystem services and livelihood benefits.

Aprendendo sobre Servicios Ambientais [IN PORTUGUESE]

Rebecca Vonada & Beto Borges

The State of Acre, Brazil recently created a state PES scheme based on the carbon market, but also biodiversity and watershed services. This booklet contains key concepts about payment for ecosystem services; it was prepared for technical staff of the government in the state of Acre, Brazil.