Market Feasibility Assessment of a Nutrient Trading Market in the Lower Illinois River-Lower Senachwine Watershed

Project: Research project

Project Details


Northwestern University (NU) supports The Wetlands Initiative (TWI) to assess the feasibility of establishing a water quality / nutrient trading market in the lower Illinois river area. In particular, NU will assist in determine key stakeholders to the initiative, and critical issues that could be root causes for resistance or a platform to mobilize support. NU generates a “template” to assess stakeholder involvement. One possible approach is to draw up a grid relative stakeholders relevance and involvement that could be used by those who want to establish a water quality trading market to assess potential success or problems in a new market. This template could be “field tested” with Pam Horwitz of the American Corn Growers Association, the landowner liaison person for this grant. NU will support the “field test” by conducting interviews with key stakeholders for the initiative. The results from the “field test” would help TWI confirm or disconfirm the perceived relative positions of important stakeholder groups with regard to the planned water quality trading market and would allow to more effectively target subsequent communication and outreach initiatives. NU will assist in the analysis and interpretation of the data gathered through the interviews. Further, NU identifies a “process model” – steps to follow when identifying and creating a new market like this. The model would outline a recommended sequence of activities for establishing and managing ties with important stakeholder groups, and for developing and securing consensus and commitment around key issues regarding the water quality trading market. NU participates in a landowner workshop, hosted by TWI in Big Bureau Creek to educate landowners on the water quality trading and to receive input from them as to how to establish such a program. NU will serve as an observer in the meeting, and will share feedback and observations after the workshop. NU’s final output would be a conceptual paper that would be suitable for a management journal.
Effective start/end date5/1/097/31/13


  • Wetlands Initiative (award 05/01/2013 // WS-00E71101-0)
  • Environmental Protection Agency (award 05/01/2013 // WS-00E71101-0)


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