Which risk do pesticides pose to our eco system? The question is simpler than the answer. Given this fact, VITO is developing model instruments that will make it possible to accurately measure the impact of pesticides.
Models on a small and large scale
The registration of pesticides helps to identify the risks of pesticides. Added to this, the agricultural and urban areas in which these pesticides are used have a specific spatial pattern. The model instruments that VITO has developed take all of these variables into consideration.
Modelling is an important aid when evaluating and registering pesticides. They can be used to produce risk analyses for standard scenarios and large-scale climate zones. Standard registration models are available for ground water and risk assessments for surface water. Alternatively, we can use this technology for more advanced risk analyses: geo-spatial models help to identify zones that are vulnerable to the leaching of pesticides, when observing the evolution of pesticides in surface water, and when putting targeted and effective measures in place to prevent pollution.
A modelling expert
VITO has extensive expertise in models that outline the impact that agrochemicals have on the soil, ground water or surface water. These models simulate the evolution of substances – from a spatial and temporal point of view. These models can be used for both standard and advanced research projects.
Tools for soil, groundwater and surface water
Our experts have already developed a number of risk analysis tools for soil, ground water and surface water. PERSAM (new window) is a software application that predicts the concentrations of crop protection products in the soil. GEOPEARL enables us to examine the ground water in Flanders: we use this model to define the areas that are vulnerable to the leaching of pesticides and put the appropriate measures in place.
To be able to produce a model of exposure in surface water – on a catchment/river basic scale – VITO is extending its SWAT model for pesticides. We have also developed the WaterProtect tool (new window), an online application that gives users fast access to the monitoring data available and statistic interpretations of pesticides in the groundwater and surface water.
Customers and partners where we implemented this technology.