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Case Study

Agrochemical Drift Deposition in European Streams

In order to gain insight on the amount of drift deposition by agrochemicals in streams adjacent to agricultural fields in Europe, we performed a context-setting study. Five potential “worst-case scenario” sites were chosen for comparison to other agricultural areas. These sites represented three major crop types: vines, arable crop and orchards.

Europe-wide spatial data on land cover and surface water was used to estimate the percentage of crop, amount of water and proximity of crop to water at a 10km grid level. The distribution for the approximately 26,000 resulting grids across Europe was then compared to the distribution for each of the study sites.

Our Findings

These comparisons showed that for each crop, the 90th percentile of the individual sites was equivalent to a greater than 90th percentile (i.e. 98th percentile) in the distribution for Europe. In other words, this methodology indicated that the study areas were more extreme than most sites in Europe.

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