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Research article2024Peer reviewedOpen access

A web-based pesticide risk assessment tool for drinking water protection zones in Sweden

Lindahl, Anna; Reichenberger, Stefan; Pohlert, Thorsten; Multsch, Sebastian; Bostroem, Gustaf; Goenczi, Mikaela; Stenemo, Fredrik; Kreuger, Jenny; Markensten, Hampus; Jarvis, Nicholas


To protect human health, wildlife and the aquatic environment, " safe uses " of pesticides are determined at the EU level while product authorization and terms of use are established at the national level. In Sweden, extra precaution is taken to protect drinking water, and permits are therefore required for pesticide use within abstraction zones. This paper presents MACRO-DB, a tool for assessing pesticide contamination risks of groundwater and surface water, used by authorities to support their decision-making for issuing such permits. MACRO-DB is a meta-model based on 583,200 simulations of the physically-based MACRO model used for assessing pesticide leaching risks at EU and national level. MACRO-DB is simple to use and runs on widely available input data. In a qualitative comparative assessment for two counties in Sweden, MACRO-DB outputs were in general agreement with groundwater monitoring data and matched or were more protective than the national risk assessment procedure for groundwater.


Contamination risk; Decision-support tool; Groundwater; MACRO; Pesticide leaching; Surface water

Published in

Journal of Environmental Management
2024, Volume: 357, article number: 120700