Nutrient trading and water quality

In the past, Motu explored how to apply market-based instruments to the problem of non-point source water pollution from agriculture. 

The programme initially focused on design and simulation of different options for managing water quality in Lake Rotorua. This work was highly collaborative and interdisciplinary and involved basic and applied research and dialogue. We developed generalisable tools (including our integrated model NManager, developed jointly with NIWA) and insights that can be applied around New Zealand and beyond. We also worked on evaluation of the existing programme in Lake Taupo, and contributed to collaborative projects on design of water regulation and use of games to communicate about water and water quality trading.

You can check out what a dairy farmer and three Maori landowners and caretakers from Te Arawa think of the proposed system and its implications here.

Mike and Sharon Barton, farmers from Taupo, recently gave a TEDx talk about farming under a nitrogen cap and factoring environmental cost into food.