Scaling up Payments for Watershed Services

Project: Scaling up Payments for Watershed Services: Recommendations for Increasing Participation in Watershed Conservation Among Non-Industrial Private Forest Landowners in the Sebago Lake Watershed, Maine

Client: Payments for Watershed Services

Faculty Advisor: Peter Adriaens

Student Group Members: Dan Cantor, Colm Fay, Matt Harrison, Emily Levine, Chris Zwicke

Abstract: Payments for Watershed Services (PWS) programs are receiving attention throughout the U.S. as a policy option to secure water quality in a cost effective manner. PWS programs face many challenges in implementation; prominent among them is designing a program that generates interest and participation among the suppliers of water quality, upstream private landowners. This report seeks to inform the development of a PWS program in Southeast Maine by examining the system of incentives needed to encourage private forest owners to adopt conservation best management practices that enhance water quality downstream. While focused on the Sebago Lake watershed, which provides drinking water for the Greater Portland area, this project approaches the localized study as a specific case to identify biophysical, institutional, economic and social factors that favor or limit the scaling up of PWS schemes…

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