Question about sustainability


I am impressed about the idea open source hydroponic agriculture. But I don´t want go to it and than one day realize that I was constantly hurting earth.
Of course in hydroponics we use 90% less water, using LED we produced much less heat etc.etc…but what about nutrients?

1)I mean once you use some nutrient solution you have to change it after some time, right? And what to do with this terrible waste product? In some hydroponic forum I´ve read: „well…just use it to water vegetables in your backyard.
Maybe unless is hydroponic only toy for few people it does´t matter. But in the future? Is soil and ground water going to be full of synthetic nutrient in the future?

2)Is the synthetic made solution (nutrients) only way to feed our plants?

Thanks for answers (discussion),
I really appreciate OpenAG initiative, best regards,


@Jan Fertilizers are just minerals, like potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen. I’m not an environmental engineer, but I also think that if we discarded the wastes to fresh water supplies we could be disturbing the ideal nutrient levels, for humans or animals.
But since the nutrients are absorbed by plants, theoretically we would just have to add more nutrients to the water we are using, and never remove nutrients from it.
The problem would be if we needed to discard all the water, for cleaning, for example.
But I thing large facilities would be able to reuse the water in these cases, and not throw it all away.
There are just my thoughts, though.


I think this is a really interesting thought. I know that farmers today must worry about this, however I believe we are at an advantage. Because we are in a controlled environment, it’s much easier to create a ‘closed’ system like Mateus suggested. Normal farmers can’t controlled what happens in runoff, so is it possible that we are less taxing on the environment?