In the context of a larger program on the ecological status of surface waters (Gewässerzustand Aaretal), the AWA (Amt für Wasser und Abfall) of the Canton of Bern investigated intensively the surface water quality in various streams. Diverse chemical and ecological parameters are explored. In 2010, an extensive monitoring of the pesticide exposure has been carried out in side valleys of the Aaretal. In particular, the Gürbetal is to be of specific interest because of an intensive agriculture, with a specifically high amount of vegetable farming.
The department of Environmental Chemistry participated in the project in collaborating on the following issues:
- Development of a monitoring concept
- Substance screening of surface waters and definition of model substances for the field study
- GIS based analysis of the region and estimation of the pesticide use
- Supporting the evaluation and interpretation of the field study data concerning (i) pesticide source identification, (ii) convenient measures for input reduction, and (iii) spatial transferability of the results.
In addition, the Gürbe catchment was selected as one of the test areas for the iWaQa project on Integrated River Water Quality Management within the National Research Program 61 on Sustainable Water Management.