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The development and application of an environmental quality indicator for pesticides

Ontwikkeling en toepassing van een Milieukwaliteitsindicator Bestrijdingsmiddelen

Synopsis

The development and application of an environmental quality indicator for pesticides are presented. The indi-cator is of the so-called distance-to-target type and is based upon measured concentrations of pesticides in the distinct environmental compartments. At various levels of aggregation, the indicator relates concentrations of pesticides to the policy aims for 2010 (Dutch target values). It has been applied to monitoring data of pesticides in Dutch surface waters and in rainwater. It is shown that target values for pesti-cides in surface waters are exceeded considerably. There is, however, a trend of decreasing levels in surface waters at the national aggregation level during the years 1992-1994, followed by stabilization during the years 1994 - 1996. Exceedance of target values is more pronounced in Dutch regional waters than in the major Dutch rivers. Pesticides that have been banned in the Netherlands exceeded the target values for surface water only slightly during the period 1992 - 1996. Higher levels of pesticides are generally found in rainwater than in surface water. This is also the case for pesticides that have been banned, and es-pecially when it is taken into account that only limited data regarding their occurrence in rainwater are available, concentrations of banned pesticides in rainwater tend to stabilize. When interpreting the values of the quality indicator given in this report, it should be taken into account that these values fully depend upon the quality of the underlying moni-tor-ing data, as well as upon the sampling strategies that were followed by the managers of the monitor programmes. It was not possible to check the quality of the individual data present in the underlying data-bases and the inherent uncertainties in these data, within the scope of this report.
 

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