The FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) is celebrating World Soil Day on Sunday 5 December under the slogan “stop soil salinization, increase soil productivity“.
Caring for our soils is a task that requires immediate action to avoid problems such as desertification. Among the main activities that affect the soil is livestock farming. On this important date, the European LIFE Ecodigestion 2.0 project stands as a succes story for soil protection through the correct treatment of organic waste from livestock and sustainable treatment of wastewater to avoid the scarcity of this natural resource, which is vital for the subsistence of the land.
The mineral salts that make up these soils provide nutrients that allow the subsistence of many ecosystems. Unfortunately, natural phenomena, but especially human activity, are endangering the natural composition of these soils. There is a serious problem of salinization, or an excess of salts naturally found in soils, which can have harmful effects on food security, with a consequent impact on human health. At the environmental level, salinisation causes the soil to lose its capacity to filter pollutant particles, so that in many cases plants end up absorbing it.
The LIFE Ecodigestion 2.0 project, based on the application of the circular economy model to obtain biogas on demand through wastewater treatment, can contribute to the subsistence of soils in two ways. Firstly, by diverting organic waste such as pig slurry to wastewater treatment plants, preventing its polluting components, such as nitrites, from affecting the quality of groundwater and, consequently, the soils with which they come into contact. Furthermore, the eco-digestion process carried out in the treatment plants results in treated water that can be used for chemical-free irrigation.