What Sources of Fertilisers are Used?

Compiled by:
Katharina Conradin (seecon international gmbh), Michael Kropac (seecon international gmbh), Dorothee Spuhler (seecon international gmbh)

What Sources of Nutrients are Used?

Up to now, we have primarily focused on the water cycle. But what about the nutrient cycle that is so closely linked to the water cycle? In order to add this information to your analysis, try to answer the following questions and add the findings to your drawing:


Where to get further information: Farmers’ associations or agricultural research institutes (agricultural university etc.) may help you to answer this question. In regard to solid waste management, the city’s administration should be able to help you.


Interlinkages: How does the use of fertiliser influence other areas of the water and nutrient cycle? Overuse (of both organic and artificial fertilisers) may lead to water pollution through runoff. A high consumption of artificial fertiliser may for instance decrease the demand for organic fertiliser - which other interlinkages can you identify for your area?

The Case of  Unsustainaville

Nutrient Management in Unsustainaville

SEECON 2010 Unsustainaville Nutrient Management

Unsustainaville - nutrient management (SEECON 2010).

To put it simply - Unsustainaville does not practice any reuse of treated wastewater. Treated wastewater is also not used to recharge groundwater sources. It is simply discharged into the river.

Problems with Nutrient Management in Unsustainaville

SEECON 2010 Unsustainavilles Problems with Nutrient Management

Unsustainaville - problems with nutrient management (SEECON 2010).

The fact that there is no management of nutrients at all leads to the following problems:

  • As nutrients present in wastewater are not recycled, the farmers have to buy artificial fertiliser at world market prices to maintain their yields. 
  • On the other side, local water bodies are frequently eutrophicated, be it from the discharge or untreated wastweater, or from the runoff of artificial fertilisers from the fields.
  • The river, where Unsustainaville and the people living further downstream get their water from is heavily polluted and eutrophicated.

Where do I find further information to tackle problems with nutrient management?