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Winrock International

Legacy Project

Milwaukee River Pay-for-Performance Project

Farms are businesses, which means they respond to economic signals. That basic idea is behind this program’s approach to reduce the damage to water quality caused by agricultural run-off in the West Branch Milwaukee River watershed. Winrock works with water treatment plant owners, conservation groups and others in the area to devise pay-for-performance incentives that encourage farmers to implement practices that reduce pollution.

Funder: Great Lakes Protection Fund

Project Timeline: June 1, 2013 - September 1, 2017

Country: United States

Program Areas: Clean Energy and Environment, Forestry and Natural Resource Management and Water

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A New Approach to Conservation

Fertilizer and manure containing phosphorus help crops grow, but when phosphorus runs off into surface water it can lead to algal blooms and dead zones, damaging water quality for people and wildlife. Current conservation programs aim to reduce water pollution, but do not quantify reductions or track water quality improvements.