Irrigation Sustainable water use in the poultry industry
Chicken production has a naturally low carbon footprint and requires a limited amount of resources, such as fertilizer, land and water. Using 2,000 l of water to produce 1 kg of chicken meat, poultry production needs a fairly modest amount of water. Just to compare, 1 kg of chocolate uses 17,000 l of water.
However, water use doesn’t mean that this water is lost. Recycling options are available to treat the water and make it fit for renewed use. The poultry industry has elaborated solutions for this. Mazzraty in Qatar called in the help of Marel Water Treatment to set up today’s most modern water treatment installation. This poultry facility is located in the desert, where nothing grows, so Mazzraty is highly aware of the importance of clean water in these circumstances.
Water Treatment starts already in the poultry processing plant. All water used for transport, for cleaning and for the various stages of processing, is collected and drained to the waste water treatment facilities. In the first phase, the physical pretreatment takes out fat material and larger coarse parts. After that, the biological process in a big basin decomposes the pollution and converts it to biological sludge and purified water.
In the direct surroundings of Mazzraty’s poultry processing plant, four large green circles in the middle of the yellow sand plain catch the eye. This is irrigated land, made fertile with the help of Mazzraty’s treated water. Besides being used for truck washing, the purified water is excellently fit for artificial irrigation of areas that are otherwise dry land. Mazzraty manages to drive four center pivot systems with this recycled water to irrigate four quarter sections (each 800x800m). The company grows mainly grass, which they can use in their feed mills.
Mazzraty’s facility has been designed to not waste or leave behind residual material and all activities aim at causing the lowest possible impact on the environment. The reuse of cleaned waste water from the factory as irrigation water is part of Mazzraty’s bigger environmental plan, which also involves a reduced CO2 emission and production of their own chicken feed. In this way, Mazzraty demonstrates one of the most sustainable ways of working in the poultry industry.