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Sci Total Environ. 2007 Oct 1;384(1-3):1-35. Epub 2007 Jun 22.

Mitigation strategies to reduce pesticide inputs into ground- and surface water and their effectiveness; a review.

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Institute of Landscape Ecology and Resources Management, University Giessen, 35392 Giessen, Germany.


In this paper, the current knowledge on mitigation strategies to reduce pesticide inputs into surface water and groundwater, and their effectiveness when applied in practice is reviewed. Apart from their effectiveness in reducing pesticide inputs into ground- and surface water, the mitigation measures identified in the literature are evaluated with respect to their practicability. Those measures considered both effective and feasible are recommended for implementing at the farm and catchment scale. Finally, recommendations for modelling are provided using the identified reduction efficiencies. Roughly 180 publications directly dealing with or being somehow related to mitigation of pesticide inputs into water bodies were examined. The effectiveness of grassed buffer strips located at the lower edges of fields has been demonstrated. However, this effectiveness is very variable, and the variability cannot be explained by strip width alone. Riparian buffer strips are most probably much less effective than edge-of-field buffer strips in reducing pesticide runoff and erosion inputs into surface waters. Constructed wetlands are promising tools for mitigating pesticide inputs via runoff/erosion and drift into surface waters, but their effectiveness still has to be demonstrated for weakly and moderately sorbing compounds. Subsurface drains are an effective mitigation measure for pesticide runoff losses from slowly permeable soils with frequent waterlogging. For the pathways drainage and leaching, the only feasible mitigation measures are application rate reduction, product substitution and shift of the application date. There are many possible effective measures of spray drift reduction. While sufficient knowledge exists for suggesting default values for the efficiency of single drift mitigation measures, little information exists on the effect of the drift reduction efficiency of combinations of measures. More research on possible interactions between different drift mitigation measures and the resulting overall drift reduction efficiency is therefore indicated. Point-source inputs can be mitigated against by increasing awareness of the farmers with regard to pesticide handling and application, and encouraging them to implement loss-reducing measures of "best management practice". In catchments dominated by diffuse inputs at least in some years, mitigation of point-source inputs alone may not be sufficient to reduce pesticide loads/concentrations in water bodies to an acceptable level.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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