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Research article2007Peer reviewed

A screening tool for vulnerability assessment of pesticide leaching to groundwater for the islands of Hawaii, USA

Stenemo F, Ray C, Yost R, Matsuda S


This paper describes an updated version of a screening tool for groundwater vulnerability assessment to evaluate pesticide leaching to groundwater, based on a revised version of the attenuation factor. The tool has been implemented in a geographical information system (GIS) covering the major islands of the state of Hawaii, USA. The Hawaii Department of Agriculture currently uses the tool in their pesticide evaluation process as a first-tier screening tool. The basic soil properties and pesticide properties necessary to compute the index, and estimates of their uncertainty, are included in the GIS. Uncertainties in soil and pesticide properties are accounted for using first-order uncertainty analysis. Classifications of pesticides as ‘likely’, ‘uncertain’ or ‘unlikely’ to leach are made on the basis of the uncertainty and a comparison of the revised attenuation factor with values and uncertainties of two reference chemicals. The reference chemicals represent what are considered to be a ‘leachable’ and a ‘non-leachable’ pesticide under Hawaii conditions. It is concluded that the tool is suitable for screening new and already used pesticides for the islands of Hawaii. However, the tool is associated with uncertainties that are not accounted for, so a conservative approach with respect to interpretation of the results and selection of pesticide parameters used in the tool is recommended


groundwater; vulnerability assessment; pesticide leaching; modeling

Published in

Pest Management Science
2007, Volume: 63, number: 4, pages: 404-411

      SLU Authors

    • Stenemo, Fredrik

      • Department of Soil Sciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Agricultural Science
    Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use

    Publication identifier


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