Water Quality Credits: An Award-Winning Mechanism to Improve Water Quality in the Ohio River Basin

The winner of the coveted United States Water Prize (2015), the Ohio River Basin Water Quality Trading Project is the most recognized domestic program creating verified and registered credits to improve water quality. First Climate is proud to offer these water quality credits to mitigate supply chain impacts, meet corporate sustainability goals, manage personal environmental footprints, and meet US water permit compliance obligations.

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For large volume or corporate buyers, please contact us for a personalized quote. First Climate is pleased to advise you in how you can use the EPRI’s water quality credits to achieve your water goals. With our expertise, we can support you to finance existing projects as well as submit new project ideas.

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Water Quality Credits

A water quality credit is a quantified and verified representation of a reduction of a pollutant within a water system. One credit is equal to one pound of total nitrogen (TN) or one pound of total phosphorus (TP) that, through voluntary action, is prevented from discharging into water. Each credit is associated with a specific vintage year, and the purchase price depends on the total volume purchased:




Based on availability, credits can be purchased from specific counties within the Ohio River Basin and can estimate the value of their credits at any downstream location using the project’s sophisticated modeling.

For inquiries of Water Quality Credits please contact Andrew Bonneau

+49 6101 55658 53

The first buyers get a free t-shirt!

The first buyers get a free t-shirt!

Water Stewardship with Water Quality Credits

An excess of nutrients, primarily nitrogen and phosphorous from agricultural systems, is having serious impacts on ecosystems and waterways throughout the world. The typical nitrogen footprint per person in the United States from food alone is about 60 pounds, or 28 kilograms, per year, and while it is critical to take actions today to address such pollution, it can be difficult to change current behaviors, manufacturing practices, and sources to address the impacts quickly.

The Ohio River Basin Water Quality Trading project is the world’s largest water quality credit program. The 50-year-old nonprofit research organization, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), led the development of the program along with a collaboration of companies, farmers, state and federal agencies and environmental group input. Focused on environmental impacts from diverse sources, the project has facilitated broad non-traditional collaborations to achieve a common commitment to improving water quality as well as broader environmental indicators. In addition to the water quality improvements, the effort qualitatively tracks ancillary social and ecological benefits such as the protection of pollinators and rare species, farm animal health, and farmer support.

In partnership with EPRI and through a network of local farmers and private landowners in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky, First Climate offers water quality credits generated from on-farm interventions that benefit waterways within the Ohio River Basin, one of the critical watersheds within the United States and a major agricultural region. Through their purchase, companies, non-profits and individuals with links to the Ohio River Basin, whether through supply chains or for those who share its resources, can support local communities and achieve broader water stewardship goals.

Working with Farmers – Supporting Nutrient Reduction in the Ohio River Basin

Working with local farmers and private landowners, the project funds conservation practices that reduce pollution to U.S. waterways and protect ecosystems. Credits are created through the installation of conservation practices with private landowners in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky. Nearly all the landowners are small family farmers producing corn, soy, wheat, beef, and milk. Projects are intended to improve water quality while maintaining crop yields for farmers. Typical practices include cover crops, reduced fertilizer application, riparian buffer strips, cattle exclusion fencing to prevent erosion of natural waterways, milk house waste management systems, manure wetland treatment systems, and cattle heavy use areas that allow for effective manure storage and management. Several projects that involve the planting of forests are also in development. Contracts with farmers range from 5 years for seasonal practices (i.e. cover crops) to 40 years for forest planting.

Bringing Water Quality Credits to Environmental Stewardship Markets

Webex recording Friday,
June 14, 2019


Andrew Bonneau

+49 6101 55658 53


Vincent Erasmy

  +49 6101 55 658 41