Phosphate Fertilizer Manufacturing
As phosphate rock moves from the mine site to the fertilizer production plant, Mosaic addresses a complex set of water balance needs. At our manufacturing plants, Mosaic carefully manages retention areas and water discharge, including non-contact water and process water. Process water includes water that transports materials within the manufacturing process and the water that carries excess heat generated by that process. This water, collected and re-circulated through cooling water ponds and phosphogypsum stack systems, is reused to recover phosphorous value, reduce accumulation in our storage systems and minimize the need for fresh groundwater.
Mosaic works closely with regulatory authorities to obtain proper permits for the water-related aspects of our business. We operate an extensive environmental monitoring network, monitoring water quality and quantity upstream and downstream of each facility. This ongoing water quality analysis ensures that storm water or treated process water discharged from our sites meets or exceeds the rigorous standards set for each facility by local, state and federal permits. This monitoring data also helps us assess and improve our plant processes, identify opportunities to further reduce fresh water use and improve the quality of surface water discharges. In addition, we continually evaluate water inventories and rainfall and evaporation rates to adjust our water use strategies.
We are focused on developing new ways to optimize water management systems that maintain and enhance water quality and supply. For example, we now use treated, reclaimed water from municipal wastewater treatment systems in certain aspects of our operations, and we have joined with public and private entities to explore future opportunities to expand our role in helping mange reclaimed water in the region.
Concerns about water stewardship in Florida's phosphate industry date back decades to historical practices that used more water. Mosaic's team of engineering, environmental, mine planning and operations professionals has achieved dramatic reductions in groundwater use at Mosaic's mining and manufacturing sites, along with an increase in use and re-use of alternative water supplies. This has helped Mosaic create new opportunities for innovation and conservation.