Sensitivity analysis using a diffuse pollution hydrologic model to assess factors affecting pesticide concentrations in river water

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We quantitatively evaluated the factors that affect the concentrations of rice-farming pesticides (an herbicide and a fungicide) in river water by a sensitivity analysis using a diffuse pollution hydrologic model. Pesticide degradation and adsorption in paddy soil affected concentrations of the herbicide pretilachlor but did not affect concentrations of the fungicide isoprothiolane. We attributed this difference to the timing of pesticide application in relation to irrigation and drainage of the rice paddy fields. The herbicide was applied more than a month before water drainage of the fields and runoff was gradual over a long period of time, whereas the fungicide was applied shortly before drainage and runoff was rapid. However, the effects of degradability-in-water on the herbicide and fungicide concentrations were similar, with concentrations decreasing only when the rate constant of degradation in water was large. We also evaluated the effects of intermittent irrigation methods (irrigation/artificial drainage or irrigation/percolation) on pesticide concentrations in river water. The runoff of the fungicide, which is applied near or in the period of intermittent irrigation, notably decreased when the method of irrigation/artificial drainage was changed to irrigation/percolation. In a sensitivity analysis evaluating the synergy effect of degradation and adsorbability in soil, the degradation rate constant in soil greatly affected pesticide concentration when the adsorption coefficient was small but did not affect pesticide concentration when the adsorption coefficient was large. The pesticide concentration in the river water substantially decreased when either or both the degradation rate constant in soil and adsorption coefficient was large.

Keywords: adsorption, degradation, isoprothiolane, pollutograph, pretilachlor

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