Home Archived April 13, 2016

U.S. Geological Survey

Maps, Imagery, and Publications Hazards Newsroom Education Jobs Partnerships Library About USGS Social Media

USGS Newsroom

USGS Newsroom  

Technical Announcement:
USGS Releases Online Interactive Tool to Predict Atrazine in Streams Across U.S.

Released: 8/20/2009 3:00:00 PM

Contact Information:
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Office of Communication
119 National Center
Reston, VA 20192
Robert Gilliom 1-click interview
Phone: 916-278-3094

Online predictions for stream concentrations of atrazine, one of the most heavily used herbicides in the United States, are now available as interactive maps and graphs for streams across the country, according to a U.S. Geological Survey study highlighted today at the summer meeting of the American Chemistry Society in Washington, D.C.

The predictions are based on a USGS statistical model – referred to as Watershed Regression for Pesticides (or “WARP”). This model also provides key statistics for each selected stream, including the probability that atrazine may exceed a water-quality benchmark of potential concern, and a level of confidence and uncertainty associated with each estimate.

“Assessment and management of pesticides require far more information on concentrations in streams and rivers than we can afford to directly measure for all the places and times of interest,” said lead scientist, Robert Gilliom. “For these situations, statistical models, such as WARP, can be used to predict water-quality conditions at unmonitored locations under a range of possible circumstances.”

Predictions and interactive mapping of atrazine for any stream in the U.S. are available online

This release is the first in a series of statistical models for atrazine and other pesticides. The models are based on monitoring in 112 streams from 1992-2001, as well as watershed characteristics that affect the occurrence of pesticides in streams, The driving characteristics include  agricultural pesticide use, and natural features, such as soil characteristics, hydrology, and climate. Current models make predictions from estimated atrazine use during 2007.

The mapping and modeling tool can assist water managers, policy makers, and scientists in several ways, including:

  • Understanding where and why atrazine occurs in streams
  • Assessing geographic patterns in stream concentrations of atrazine at many scales, ranging from regional and national
  • Designing efficient and cost-effective monitoring programs and studies
  • Identifying streams with the greatest likelihood to have concentrations that exceed a water-quality benchmark of potential concern

USGS provides science for a changing world. For more information, visit www.usgs.gov.

Subscribe to USGS News Releases via our electronic mailing list or RSS feed.

**** www.usgs.gov ****

Links and contacts within this release are valid at the time of publication.


Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

USA.gov logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
URL: http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=2292
Page Contact Information: Ask USGS
Page Last Modified: 8/20/2009 11:11:52 AM