Tradeoffs among Ecosystem Services, Performance Certainty, and Cost-efficiency in Implementation of the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load

Lisa A. Wainger, George Van Houtven, Ross Loomis, Jay Messer, Robert Beach, Marion Deerhake
2013 Agricultural and Resource Economics Review  
The cost-effectiveness of total maximum daily load (TMDL) programs depends heavily on program design. We develop an optimization framework to evaluate design choices for the TMDL for the Potomac River, a Chesapeake Bay sub-basin. Scenario results suggest that policies inhibiting nutrient trading or offsets between point and nonpoint sources increase compliance costs markedly and reduce ecosystem service co-benefits relative to a least-cost solution. Key decision tradeoffs highlighted by the
more » ... hlighted by the analysis include whether agricultural production should be exchanged for low-cost pollution abatement and other environmental benefits and whether lower compliance costs and higher co-benefits provide adequate compensation for lower certainty of water-quality outcomes.
doi:10.1017/s1068280500007693 fatcat:lm55srf3affn5ew4wseytigeji