PEGASE - Pesticides in European groundwaters: detailed study of representative aquifers and simulation of possible evolution scenario's
The transport of the pesticides from the soil surface to and in groundwater was monitored in six aquifers representative of European groundwater resources (2 in France, 1 in Germany, 1 in Switzerland, 1 in Denmark and 1 in the Netherlands). Results show that there is a potential for a rapid transport of pesticides to depth under specific conditions. The pattern of detection of pesticides in groundwater varied according to the compound and the aquifer considered. Where detection occurred, it was limited to the first few weeks following application to agricultural crops whereas in some others, the compound was detected throughout the monitoring periods. Mathematical tools enabling the simulation of pesticide fate from the soil surface to and in groundwater were developed or improved within the scope of the project. The models were tested against the data collected at the various study sites. Although further validation work is required, the integrated models used in the project, which allow the simulation of pesticide fate from the soil surface to and in groundwater, have the potential to be used as management tools to ensure the long-term protection of European groundwater resources. A socio-economic analysis was undertaken to understand the expectations of various stakeholders with regard to the long-term management of groundwater quality. A deliberation support tool known as PEGASE was developed to help create a bridge between scientific and non-scientific knowledge, integrating technical, scientific and social information in a single framework. The system was evaluated through interactive demonstrations in schools, universities and local authorities and proved a useful tool in helping users in formulating their expectations with regard to water quality.