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Eurostar Eureka European Commission Centro para el Desarrollo Tecnológico industrial

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Water and minerals are critical factors for food production worldwide. The demand for water grows faster than the world population. In the coming bio-based economy, anticipated to emerge in the 21st century, agriculture will become as an even more intensive water user. This means that, in situations of relative scarcity, competition between the different user groups (agriculture, municipalities and industry) will be strong. The value of nutrients in reclaimed water can be an important economic consideration, particularly as the cost of fertilizers increases with the cost of energy used to produce them.

When incorporating nutrients from reclaimed water in irrigation fertilization plans it is also important to account for the timing of application since the relatively constant, low dosage provided by irrigation with reclaimed water may not supply the right amount of nutrient at the right phenological stage. The conventional wastewater treatment plants, usually use technology wich remove nutrients and spend lot of energy in this process. The energy cost in the conventional treatment plants is around 65% of the total cost. The biological treatment is the largest energy consumer with 63%. Thus, reducing the biological process, maintaining the nutrient and energy saving.

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