Abstract for: Simulating a Thermal Water Quality Trading Market for Classroom Education

Thermal water quality trading is an emerging tool for managing water temperature. Trading programs give point source thermal polluters the option to comply with effluent restrictions by paying nearby landowners to plant shade trees. The shade trees cool the water, offsetting the thermal pollution emitted by the point source. One of the main obstacles to the propagation of these markets is the problem of convincing landowners to participate. Simulation can help reduce stakeholder barriers and explore the potential benefits of trading. Simulation can help participants understand markets structures and ease the impression of market complexity. Simulation can also allow participants to explore potential market outcomes under different scenarios and policy designs. The Riparian Shading Simulator exercise was created to allow students to play the roles of land owners and point source polluters.The classroom exercises create a common experience which sets the stage for concrete discussions about how the market could work within the larger system. The classroom exercises have also set the stage for system dynamics modeling of alternative market designs.