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Phosphate resources management


Glossary over Phosphate resources management

Algal bloom

The rapid excessive growth of algae, generally caused by high nutrient levels and favourable conditions. Can result in deoxygenation of the water mass when the algae die, leading to the death of aquatic flora and fauna. (Source: Water resources Management Practicum 2000 Biology )



Biodiversity is a contraction of biological diversity. Biodiversity reflects the number, variety and variability of living organisms.

It includes diversity within species (genetic diversity), between species (species diversity), and between ecosystems (ecosystem diversity). (Source: GreenFacts)



Biofuels are non-fossil fuels. They are energy carriers that store the energy derived from organic materials (biomass), including plant materials and animal waste.

They may be solid, such as fuelwood, charcoal and wood pellets; liquid, such as ethanol, biodiesel and pyrolysis oils; or gaseous, such as biogas. (Source: GreenFacts)



An electric charge (q or Q) is the quantity of unbalanced electricity in an object (either positive or negative). It is interpreted as an excess or deficiency of electrons. Matter that possesses a charge is influenced by and produces electromagnetic fields.

Electrons, by convention have an elementary charge of -1. Ions are either positively or negatively charged. The unit of measurement of the charge of an object is the coulomb, which represents 6.24 x 1018 elementary charges. (Source: GreenFacts)


Cleaning product that usually contain surfactants to make oils and greases soluble in water and remove them more easily. (Source: GreenFacts)


The increase in additions of nutrients [especially nitrogen and phosphorus] to freshwater or marine systems, which leads to increases in plant growth and often to undesirable changes in ecosystem structure and function. (Source: MA  Glossary )



A molecule is the smallest part of any chemical compound composed of two or more atoms and which has the qualities of that substance and can exist alone in a free state. As an example, a molecule of water (H2O) consists of two atoms of hydrogen and one of oxygen. (Source: GreenFacts, based on Helios Glossary   )


The approximately 20 chemical elements known to be essential for the growth of living organisms, including nitrogen, sulfur, phosphorus, and carbon. (Source: Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Glossary   )


Organic arsenic compounds

Arsenic compounds containing carbon. They are mainly found in sea-living organisms, although some of these compounds have also been found in species living on land. (Source: GreenFacts)

Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology

POST is Parliament's in-house source of independent, balanced and accessible analysis of public policy issues related to science and technology. (Source:  )


Exposure pathway is the physical route by which a chemical substance transfers from a source to exposed organisms.

Potential pathways include air, surface water, groundwater, soil, plants, animals and humans. May not necessarily always refer to contaminants. (Source: GreenFacts)

Primary & Secondary pollutant

A primary pollutant is an air pollutant emitted directly from a source.

A secondary pollutant is not directly emitted as such, but forms when other pollutants (primary pollutants) react in the atmosphere.

Examples of a secondary pollutant include ozone, which is formed when hydrocarbons (HC) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) combine in the presence of sunlight; NO2, which is formed as NO combines with oxygen in the air; and acid rain, which is formed when sulfur dioxide or nitrogen oxides react with water. (Source: GreenFacts)


Refers to the amount of disturbance or stress that an ecosystem can absorb and still remain capable of returning to its pre- disturbance state. (Source: GreenFacts, based on Millennium Ecosystem Assessment  Glossary )



Sewage refers to waste-water from homes and industry which is collected and carried away in sewers (pipes or tunnels). When raw waste-water is cleaned in treatment plants the waste product is sewage sludge, which can be used as a fertiliser under certain conditions or deposited in landfills. (Source: GreenFacts )


Rock worn into tiny pieces (coarser than clay, but finer than sand). It is found sometimes as the deposit of sediment at the mouth of a river. (Source: Ecohealth Glossary   )

Surface water

Water on the surface of the Earth, such as in lakes, rivers, streams, ponds, and springs. (Source: ATSDR Glossary of Terms   )


Measures taken to treat a physical or mental disease.

First-line therapy is the first type of therapy given for a condition or disease.

Second-line therapy is the treatment that is given when initial treatment (first-line therapy) doesn't work, or stops working. (Source: based on St Jude Hospital Medical Terminology & Drug Database )

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