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Sci Total Environ. 2011 Apr 15;409(10):1949-58. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2011.02.012. Epub 2011 Mar 4.

Modeling effectiveness of agricultural BMPs to reduce sediment load and organophosphate pesticides in surface runoff.

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California Department of Pesticide Regulation, 1001 I Street, Sacramento, CA 95616, USA.


Quantifying effectiveness of agricultural BMPs at the watershed scale is a challenging issue, requiring robust algorithms to simulate not only the agricultural production system but also pollutant transport and fate. This research addresses the challenge to simulate performances of BMPs in reducing organophosphates (OPs) runoff at the watershed scale. The SWAT model is calibrated and validated following a sensitivity analysis combining Latin Hypercube sampling and One-factor-At-a-Time simulation. The calibrated model is then applied in the Orestimba Creek Watershed to simulate BMPs including buffer strips, sediment ponds, vegetated ditches, use reduction, and their combinations. BMP simulation suggested that sediment ponds trap 54-85% of sediment from field runoff, but less than 10% of dissolved diazinon and chlorpyrifos. Use reduction can reduce pesticide load in a close-to-linear fashion. Effectiveness of vegetated ditches and buffers depends on their physical dimension and vegetation cover. Combining individual BMPs provides enhanced mitigation effects. The combination of vegetated ditches, buffer strips and use reduction decreases diazinon and chlorpyrifos load by over 94%. This study has suggested that the SWAT model reasonably predicts BMP effectiveness at the watershed scale. Results will assist decision making in implementing BMPs to reduce pesticide loads in surface runoff.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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