Graduate Defense Seminar
Juan G. Perez Saez, MS student in Environmental Social Sciences, will present Recruiting the Water Quality Trader: Do Socioeconomic Variables and Level of Trust Matter? at 9:00 a.m. in 333C Kottman Hall.
This study identified some of the barriers that limit the promotion of environmental conservation programs like Water Quality Trading (WQT). WQT is a voluntary approach that aims to help point source of pollution (sources with a well-designed point of discharge) to meet the State's water quality standards. The trading process is done when a point source of pollution, like a factory, buy credits from non-point sources (sources of pollution with a non-specific outlet), like farmers (agricultural runoff), within the same watershed. The WQT strategy can reduce levels of pollution in the watershed at a lower cost. In exchange for the financial incentive involved, farmers commit to carry out best management practices that will reduce their pollution discharge and consequently contribute to reaching water quality trading standards in the watershed. The problem with these programs is the slow start up, lack of motivation and low participation from farmers. This research examined farmer's motivations to participate or not in WQT programs. Specifically, this research contributed to understanding the effect/influence of socioeconomic variables (land size, age, and education) and level of trust on the participation or non-participation of farmers in WQT programs. Another outcome from this research was the identification of mechanisms that could motivate the participation of those who are not part of the WQT initiative, and determined whether the program's recruitment strategies are more attractive for farmers with certain socioeconomic profile over others.