How-to for Buyers

“Water quality trading gives us more options to protect the river and the bay and keep treatment costs low for our customers”

Tom Sigmund

Executive Director of NEW Water (Credit Buyer)

Know before you buy

How much pollution must you reduce?

How much will it cost you to comply using existing technologies?

Are costs too high -- is trading an option?

Step 1: Find a Seller

  • Step 1 of 6 16%
Who Pays for This?

The Buyer

Completed by:

The Buyer or a broker

Buyers have several options for finding a Seller:  1) you can contact the Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance (FWWA)  to help you find an appropriate seller and possibly act as your broker; 2) you can contact the nearby County Land & Water Conservation Department to see if they are aware of any farmers interested in trading; 3) you can use your own network of contacts to search for possible Sellers; or 4) discuss trading with your engineering consultant.  The FWWA has worked with the Fox P Trade project and has a thorough understanding of water quality trading in the Lower Fox River. FWWA staff would be able to tell you where in the watershed you are legally able to buy the most credits and help match you with prospective point and nonpoint Sellers.

Step 2: Submit a Notice of Intent

  • Step 2 of 6 33%
Who Pays for This?

The Buyer

Completed by:

The buyer with information from the credit generator

Related Resources

Once a Seller has been found, a Notice of Intent must be submitted to WDNR. This lets the WDNR know that you are getting ready to pursue WQT as an alternative compliance option and opens the door to helpful communication as you proceed.

Step 3: Sign a Trade Agreement to Buy Water Quality Credits

  • Step 3 of 6 50%
Who Pays for This?

Both the buyer and the seller. The seller may recoup their costs through the price of credits.

Completed by:

The Buyer and Seller can do this together, but a 3rd party broker can be helpful

Related Resources

Agreement on the terms of the trade will need to be negotiated between you (the Buyer) and the Seller. These terms are written down in a Trade Agreement (or Water Quality Trading Contract) that is ultimately signed by both the Seller and the Buyer before any credit generating practices are installed.  A broker is uniquely positioned to assist trading partners in negotiating and executing a Trade Agreement.

Step 4: Complete and Submit a Water Quality Trading Packet

  • Step 4 of 6 66%
Who Pays for This?

The buyer

Completed by:

The buyer in concert with the seller and a 3rd party broker.

Related Resources

The Water Quality Trading Packet must be submitted to WDNR to complete a trade when credits will be used by the Buyer for permit compliance. The packet contains three key documents: an Executive Summary, the WDNR’s Checklist for submitting a packet; and the Water Quality Trading Plan (with a number of appendices). The Packet contains a lot of information, so it is best to get started early and anticipate sufficient time for WDNR review. If materials are incomplete, multiple reviews may be required. The details required assure that water quality benefits arising from a trade are meaningful, transparent, and defensible.

Step 5: Submit a Management Practice Registration Form

  • Step 5 of 6 83%
Who Pays for This?

The Buyer

Completed by:

The Buyer, with assistance from the Verifier.

Related Resources

With so much detail developed for both the Trade Agreement and Packet, both the Buyer and the Seller should be on firm footing to actually execute the trade. This involves verification that credit generating practices have been installed consistent with the Trade Agreement. The trade’s Verifier will document this by filling out a Management Practice Registration Form, which the Buyer then needs to submit to the WDNR.

Step 6: Submit an Annual Credit Verification Report

  • Step 6 of 6 100%
Who Pays for This?

The Buyer

Completed by:

The Buyer, with assistance from the Verifier

Related Resources

Your annual credit verification report will explain to the Wisconsin DNR how trading is bringing your facility into compliance with your permit, and confirm that conservation practices are installed as promised in the Water Quality Trading Packet. Plan to submit this report annually, and allow plenty of time for your Verifier to collect necessary photographic and descriptive evidence of functioning conservation practices.