07 July 2015 | Online since 2003

Urgent action needed on phosphorus urges CIWEM



20 August 2012 16:52:47|Agri Safety,News

Urgent action needed on phosphorus, urges CIWEM


Urgent action is needed to reduce the rate of phosphorus depletion said The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) in its latest policy statement.

The statement outlines the main issues relating to the world’s supply of useable phosphate and highlights the need for urgent action to achieve its recovery to improve food security and reduce geopolitical risk.
Phosphate is essential for all living cells; it is a part of all DNA and cells’ energy cycles. It is also the least abundant of the major plant nutrients. For phosphate there can be neither substitute nor replacement. 
We rely on the mining of inorganic phosphates for agriculture and industry. This would not be an issue if there were abundant supplies, but that is far from the case. 

At the present rate of extraction, today’s phosphate mines will be exhausted by the end of the 21st century and estimates of future reserves range from 200 to 400 years (at the current rate of extraction). China and the USA have both tried to implement measures to reduce exports of phosphate as they have already realised its strategic importance.
However whilst the future may sound bleak, wastewater treatment could recover 95% of the phosphate from urban wastewater. CIWEM believes land application of suitably treated biosolids (sewage sludge) is invariably the best way to conserve and recycle the phosphate it contains. Currently only 20% of the phosphate in urban wastewater in the EU is recycled. In order to increase this, CIWEM calls on all governments to follow the examples of Sweden and Germany and make phosphate recovery from urban wastewater a legal requirement.
“Phosphorus is scarce and resources are being depleted rapidly. To date, attention has focussed on removing phosphate from wastewater streams to prevent the eutrophication of waters" said Nick Reeves, CIWEM's Executive Director.

"But phosphate is of huge strategic value over the longer term and we must also act to recover phosphate from waste-streams for use. The economics of extensive phosphate recovery from wastewater would be quite favourable if we viewed phosphorus as a resource, rather than the conventional approach of treating it as a pollutant in the environment, and mining it in mineral form to fertilise our crops.”

Download





0 Comment


Name

Please enter your name


Email

Comment

Please enter your comment


Post Comment

Your comment submitted successfully.Please wait for admin approval.


Comments

No comments posted yet. Be the first to post a comment

Jobs

Start Date: 7 July 2015
M490: FARMING DIRECTOR

Our client has considerable agricultural interests and is seeking a Farming Director. This is a key senior role which is both...


Start Date: 23 June 2015
Experienced 360 excavator driver - 14 tonner or General farm worker: Job in Oxfordshire

Experienced 360 excavator driver, required for 10 week contract in Oxfordshire. Ideal chance to earn good money over the...


Start Date: 7 July 2015
A438: Commercial Director - Home-based. B2B

Due to a future retirement, De Lacy Executive seeks an experienced and successful Commercial Director to join a market leadin...


Start Date: 7 July 2015
A420: UK Sales Manager - Dairy Sector

A first class opportunity has arisen for a dynamic, enthusiastic and highly motivated UK Sales Manager to join a leading prov...


Start Date: 24 June 2015
Pig stock person/General Farm Worker Job >>Scotland<<

Stock person needed for 400 sow unit on a 5 week batch system selling 7kg weaners at 4weeks old.also helping out wi...





Top stories you may have missed
5 June 2015 | Cattle

A strong pound and increased red meat imports coupled with a plentiful dome...


5 June 2015 | Arable

Depression is affecting Wales' farming industry and there is a need to use ...


5 June 2015 | Arable

With just one week to go before the final judging and announcement of the w...


5 June 2015 | Finance

A rural law expert has highlighted the importance of good succession planni...


5 June 2015 | Farmshops

A south Yorkshire dairy farming family is pulling out all the stops to prom...


4 June 2015 | Finance

Predicting what is going to happen to wheat prices is a challenge, but in s...


4 June 2015 | Agri Safety

A Lancashire based livestock theft prevention scheme is aiming to go nation...


4 June 2015 | News

A female farmer has been recognised by the farming and conservation industr...


4 June 2015 | Finance

The new Conservative government appears to be preparing to implement cuts f...


4 June 2015 | Arable

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) will have mobile support units at the follo...


Username
Password