Water Flow Restoration Initiative

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Markit creates registry for U.S. water flow restoration initiative

Source: Markit Brings Transparency To New U.S. Water Flow Restoration Initiative Markit, August 19, 2009

"Markit, a financial information services company, today announced that Markit Environmental Registry (formerly TZ1 Registry), a global provider of registries for carbon and ecosystems markets, has been appointed as the official registry for the first and only national voluntary water restoration marketplace. This new marketplace was created by the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) to increase water flow in critically dewatered U.S. rivers and streams.

As part of this initiative, BEF issues Water Restoration Certificates™ (WRCs) under its BEF Flow Restoration Standard. The WRCs represent verified restored river flow in high priority stream areas. The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) has certified the standards and criteria for all BEF WRC projects to ensure that water is returned at a time and place that will produce real environmental benefits including supporting fish and wildlife habitat.

Markit Environmental Registry assigns individual serial numbers to WRCs based on WRC project data and tracks them throughout their lifecycle to help ensure that water returned to the environment is never counted twice.

Helen Robinson, Managing Director of Markit Environmental Registry, said: “The WRC is a first of its kind and has a powerful potential to restore rivers and streams. Water is a key global issue and one that naturally lends itself to market mechanisms. We are very excited to be at the forefront of this new environmental market with an innovative organisation like BEF, and to play a part in creating a robust and credible product.”

Margie Gardner, CEO of the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, said: "Markit Environmental Registry understands environmental markets and provides BEF and the emerging water restoration marketplace with a globally credible platform on which to issue and trace the WRCs. Since the Registry is online, it will increase the visibility of WRCs and ensure access to a more extensive marketplace.”

Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF)

About BEF:

An entrepreneurial nonprofit, Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) is creating a more sustainable future by investing now in clean energy and fresh water. Customers who buy independently certified BEF Carbon Offsets and Renewable Energy Certificates support the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and the development of new renewable energy facilities, while customers who buy BEF's Water Restoration CertificatesTM support the return of water to critically dewatered streams and rivers. All BEF customers and donors support long-term watershed restoration and renewable energy education for students and communities nationwide because BEF reinvests its net revenues to fund its Model Watershed and Solar 4R Schools programs. Since it was established in Portland, Ore. in 1998, BEF has been a pioneer in helping people and companies become better stewards of the environment. Learn more at www.b-e-f.org.

The BEF WRC market is having initial success:

  • For years, Prickly Pear Creek in Montana did not flow throughout the irrigation season, running dry in the late summer season. This summer BEF and the Montana Water Trust expect to restore the creek to continuous year-round flow, supporting approximately two river miles of additional habitat for fish and wildlife.
  • In Oregon, where BEF works with the Deschutes River Conservancy, water flow in the Middle Deschutes River is almost four times what it has been historically, fostering a healthier ecosystem for people, plants and wildlife and prompting local fly fishing guides familiar with the area to report improved fish populations.
  • Evan's Creek, which is also in Oregon and where BEF works with The Freshwater Trust, is enjoying a 50 percent improvement in summer stream flow, prompting a return of wildlife to the area with beavers actively pooling up the small stream and steelhead trout and Coho salmon using the stream as rearing habitat.
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