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Tools for Adaptive Management and Water Quality Trading

Every adaptive management and water quality trading plan will share common elements while also being unique, given the site-specific needs of the watershed, point source, and partners. The following resources may assist you in developing adaptive management and water quality trading plans. Questions may be submitted to Amanda Minks.

Guidance documents

A webinar series is available to discuss specific components of the guidance documents.

Quantifying nonpoint source pollution loads & reductions

Nonpoint source pollution reductions are typically quantified through modeling. The following table of management practices and models [PDF] provides a list of practices and recommended models to quantify resulting reductions from various management practices. Plans should recommend a quantification method if a model or tool is not listed, or if an alternative quantification method is preferred in lieu of the recommended model listed in guidance. Additional guidance is also available in the modeling section [PDF]of the adaptive management handbook. Questions related to modeling may be submitted to

Pollution Load Ratio Estimation Tool

The Pollutant Load Ratio Estimation Tool (PRESTO) is a statewide GIS-based tool that compares the average annual phosphorus loads originating from point and nonpoint sources within a watershed. This model is used to help determine adaptive management eligibility by quantifying the ratio of point to nonpoint sources in a watershed, and can also provide an indication of the potential for nonpoint trading credits within a watershed.

Surface Water Data Viewer

The Surface Water Data Viewer is an interactive mapping tool that can identify impaired waterbodies and HUC 12 subwatersheds, and contains in-stream water quality monitoring data including phosphorus concentrations. Questions on this resource may be submitted to


Funding may be available to help finance portions of trading and adaptive management. Clean Water Fund Loan Pilots can be used to finance adaptive management and trading plans for municipal discharges.

Contact information

District Trading and Adaptive Management Coordinators [PDF] are available to provide technical assistance. County Land and Water Conservation staff may also be potential partners to assist in development and implementation of adaptive management and/or trading. Visit DATCP to find County Conservation staff in your area.

Other reports of interest

Last revised: Wednesday May 31 2017