Harrington, R. and R. McInnes
Social, economic and environmental coherence is sought in the management of livestock wastewater. Wetlands facilitate the biogeochemical processes that exploit livestock wastewater and provide opportunities to achieve such coherence and also to deliver on a range of ecosystem services. The Integrated Constructed Wetland (ICW) concept integrates three inextricably linked objectives: water quantity and quality management, landscape-fit to improve aesthetic site values and enhanced biodiversity. The synergies derived from this explicit integration allow one of the key challenges for livestock management to be addressed. An example utilizing twelve ICW systems from a catchment on the south coast of Ireland demonstrates that over an eight year period mean reduction of total and soluble phosphorus (molybdate reactive phosphorus) exceeded 95% and the mean removal of ammonium-N exceeded 98%. This paper reviews evidence regarding the capacity of ICWs to provide a coherent and sustainable alternative to conventional systems.