Submitted to: Journal of Environmental Quality
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 27, 2012
Publication Date: May 1, 2012
Citation: Buda, A.R., Koopmans, G.F., Bryant, R.B., Chardon, W.J. 2012. Emerging technologies for removing nonpoint phosphorus from surface water and groundwater: introduction. Journal of Environmental Quality. 41(3):621-627. DOI: 10.2134/jeq2012.0080. Interpretive Summary: New technologies are being developed to remove diffuse sources of P from agricultural runoff using reactive materials from natural, synthetic, and industrial sources. We summarize laboratory, field, and economic assessments of potential technologies, highlighting opportunities where these technologies can be used to immediately improve water quality. Although considerable work has been accomplished in this area, there still remains a dearth of information on the long-term performance of these technologies, something that is needed to develop cost-effective strategies for water quality enhancement.
Technical Abstract: The long-term application of phosphorus (P) to agricultural lands has led to P accumulation in soils around the world. The build-up of soil P, also known as legacy P, poses a continued risk to ground and surface water quality that may be difficult to mitigate using traditional conservation and nutrient management strategies alone. New innovative remediation practices are being developed to remove nonpoint P sources from surface and ground waters using P sorbing materials from natural, synthetic, and industrial sources. This collection of papers highlights laboratory, field, and economic assessments of several potential P removal technologies, many of which show the potential for immediate reductions in P loss from nonpoint sources. Despite the potential of P removal technologies to improve water quality, gaps in our research remain, and additional research is needed to characterize the long-term performance of these technologies, as well as to more fully understand their costs and benefits in the context of whole-farm and watershed scale P management.