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Nutrient management is a major sustainability issue. A substantial fraction of our water resources are polluted with too much nitrogen and, more importantly for freshwater, phosphorus. This results in major biodiversity loss, tainted drinking water supplies, economic damage to water-dependent industries, reduced recreational activities, and decreased property values. Our phosphorus resources require better management. They need to be used more efficiently and recycled more effectively. The Sustainable Phosphorus Alliance has developed GIS-P as a tool to facilitate enlightened phosphorus management.

GIS-P is a freely available, one-stop-shop for US and (soon) Canadian phosphorus management data. Delivered via Esri’s online ArcGIS platform, GIS-P provides a map-based interface for users to browse, region-by-region, any number of layered datasets, such as land-application regulations for biosolids and manure, designated nutrient-impaired waters, numbers of concentrated animal feeding operations, and locations of wastewater treatment facilities.

Phosphorus management is complex. It involves understanding not just regulations but their context, including measurements of how much and where the phosphorus is and where it originates and ends up. The Sustainable Phosphorus Alliance, working with industry and government partners, has summarized the relevant regulations and embedded them into GIS-P alongside such context-framing data to provide a more comprehensive picture of how phosphorus moves through the environment. GIS-P is a work in progress and will strive to encompass more and more dimensions of phosphorus management.

SDG Goals: Clean Water and Sanitation,Industry Innovation and Infrastructure,Responsible Consumption and Production,Life Below Water,Life on Land



Sustainable Phosphorus Alliance


April 2019 — Ongoing