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Adresse adresse New innovative tools to assess and reduce the potential for pesticide water contamination across Europe Igor Dubus

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Presentation on theme: "Adresse adresse New innovative tools to assess and reduce the potential for pesticide water contamination across Europe Igor Dubus"— Presentation transcript:

1 Adresse adresse New innovative tools to assess and reduce the potential for pesticide water contamination across Europe Igor Dubus Chemicals in Water workshop, EEA 6-7 December 2010

2 Igor Dubus 15 years as a scientist working on the risk of contamination of water resources by pesticides >30 peer-reviewed papers in the field Coordinator of the EU-funded Footprint project between 2006 and 2009 Created the start-up company Footways in 2009 to offer operational tools and practical solutions to ALL stakeholders involved in pesticides and the environment

3 The need for operational tools for pesticide risk assessment and management (1/2) Risk assessors involved in pesticide registration know a LOT about the potential contamination of water resources by pesticides Which compound are likely to cause problems? Under which conditions (soils, crops, application conditions)? Is the problem widespread? Are there any solutions? If yes, are they compatible with agricultural practices? Yet there are surveys reporting on a decrease of water quality with regard to pesticides So what is wrong here?

4 The need for operational tools for pesticide risk assessment and management (2/2) The problem is that those who can address the issue of the presence of pesticides in water do not have the knowledge / time / tools to identify issues and solutions Those involved in the protection of water resources : MS ministries, water agencies, water companies, municipalities Those most concerned with pesticide losses from fields across Europe: farmers and farming organisations Those involved in developing relevant policy instruments: national and EU policy makers

5 Providing tools for pesticide risk assessment and management The EU project Footprint ( ) developed a first methodology, but there were clear limitations: Very coarse climatic zonation Supporting modelling data not completed Software tools not finalised when the project finished in June 2009 No funding to continue the work Footways has adapted the methodology and now provides access to a series of tools which are operational and adapted to all scales/stakeholders CatchmentsCountiesRegionsRiver basinsCountriesThe EU FarmsFields

6 Methodological aspects Step 1 – characterising the agro-pedo-climatic conditions in which pesticides are applied

7 Methodological aspects Step 2 – simulate likely environmental transfers using state-of-the-art research models MACRO drainage, leaching Environmental risk indicators Pesticides PRZM runoff, erosion

8 Methodological aspects Step 3 – calculate risk indicators Footprint indicators State-of-the-art But very complex and difficult to understand for a non- expert! New PITSA indicators Pesticide IndicaTor for a Sustainable Agriculture Very simple to understand, operational and adapted to action plans on the ground The proportion of days in which water leaving fields exceeds regulatory thresholds

9 There are numerous factors affecting pesticide fate Products Equipment Crop Climate Land management Landscape elements Soil Application

10 Picture taken at Copenhagen airport this morning

11 You cannot expect policy-makers or farmers to be pesticide fate experts and use research tools! The solution is to use web technologies and to adjust the complexity of the web interfaces to the skills of the users What users are typically interested in: "I just want to know if the application of Compound X is likely to cause problems in some countries (or in my catchment). Oh. And if there is a problem, I just would like to know if and how it can be solved." The need for turn-key solutions

12 The FOOTWAYS Pro platform Model parameterisation Model running Results postprocessing You specify the risks you want to assess And you get the results back All the modelling is done on a supercomputer based in Orléans in France

13 Log in page

14 The Management board

15 Different scales, different target users EU, MS, regions and water basins CatchmentsFields and farms Policy makers and water quality managersExtension services

16 Mapping tools for policy-makers at the large scale From initial diagnostics …….. to action plans The map above shows concentrations in surface water resulting from transfers of a reference pesticide through runoff and erosion. Footways tools allow users to assess the efficiency of alternative solutions to limit the transfer of pesticides to water resources (see maps on the right). Change of application date Product substitution 10-m buffer zone

17 Management tools at the catchment scale For the protection and sustainability of water resources Footways tools are based on predictions of pesticide transfer through leaching, drainage, runoff, erosion and spray drift, at a daily resolution. Contribution of individual fields to contamination at the catchment outlet Field losses for individual pesticides Risk indicators for individual fields and the catchment area Change of application date Product substitution 10-m buffer zone

18 Now, what can you do at the scale of the EU ? You can predict the fate of pesticides in the environment for any pesticide applied on one of 42 crops in any of 24 EU countries (except Bulgaria, Romania and Cyprus not integrated at this stage) The Footways tools can be optimised for national applications

19 A few example maps The following maps show the risk of contamination of surface water by a specific pesticide through inputs by runoff and erosion Colours correspond to concentrations. Purple, blue and green are fine. The redder the colour the larger the risk for drinking water resources.

20 Denmark

21 Belgium

22 Germany

23 Lithuania

24 Greece

25 Europe 24

26 Identify problems and find solutions Concentrations in surface water originating from surface runoff and erosion

27 Identify problems and find solutions ca. 80 km NUTS level 3

28 Identify problems and find solutions ca. 6 km Village of Saint Firmin

29 Finding the right solution 5-m buffer zone10-m buffer zone 20-m buffer zone No mitigation strategy

30 Tools for different scales and users A stepwise approach Identify problematic compounds and practices at the EU/national scale Assess things in more detail at the regional or catchment scale to identify problematic zones in the catchment and come up with mitigation measures Provide access to extension advisers and farmers so that they can feel involved and come up with solutions themselves

31 How can these new tools be used? Identify problematic pesticides, zones, crops and practices Prioritise pesticides Optimise surveillance programmes Use the system to see if solutions to contamination problems exist Come up with meaningful action plans Get farmers and farming organisations to use the tools so that they can modify their practices Monitor progress on a regular basis

32 Take-home messages Tools for tackling the issue of the presence of pesticides in water across Europe have been developed The methodology is partly based on research carried out in the Footprint EU project ( ) The Footways tools are operational and can very effectively support the implementation of existing pieces of legislation at the EU and MS levels Water Framework Directive The Directive on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides (National Action Plans) the design of new policies in the field of water protection

33 Acknowledgements


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