Presentation of the Groundwater Atlas

The residues of plant protection products in groundwater have now been specified in the Groundwater Atlas for thousands of locations in the Netherlands. The Groundwater Atlas for pesticides is a database with measurement data. In the Netherlands, the provinces and drinking water providers periodically take samples of groundwater to determine the quality. These measurement data have now been entered into the Groundwater Atlas, thus providing insight into the presence of pesticide residues in the groundwater. On Tuesday 10 October, the Groundwater Atlas was presented to the Board for the Authorisation of Plant Protection Products and Biocides (Ctgb).

The Ctgb wants to use this information – more than it currently does – in the authorisation assessment of plant protection products.  With this data, the Ctgb can test its assessment models for safe use by comparing predicted concentrations with the actual concentrations in the groundwater. For this purpose, the measurement data must be public and also provide information on aspects such as land use and the source of the groundwater. This makes it possible to ascertain whether a plant protection product that has been used according to instructions may possibly have exceeded the authorisation standard.

For a credible database, it is important that all parties concerned – provinces, water boards and drinking water providers – supply useable measurement data. In this way, they work together to ensure safe use of plant protection products and good groundwater quality.

The Groundwater Atlas was funded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment and was developed by Wageningen Environmental Research (Alterra) and the RIVM. Vewin (the association of drinking water providers in the Netherlands) was also involved to ensure the correct entry of data and measurement results in the database.

The Groundwater Atlas can be downloaded and installed on a PC via: