Department Environmental Chemistry

NAWA-MachTrend: Feasibility Study Trend Analysis and Spatial Transferability of Pesticide Monitoring Data

Photo: Birgit Beck, Eawag
Surface water pesticide sampling in Canale Piano di Magadino


Under what conditions can we detect long-term pesticide concentration trends in surface water?

The national action plan for plant protection products (NAP), which was put into effect by the Federal Council in September 2017, aims to halve the risk of pesticides within water bodies over the next 10 years. The Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) has enabled a monitoring program, which will provide data to evaluate the achievement of the NAP objectives.

Experiences from other projects have shown that finding clear evidence of significant changes in water pollution induced by mitigation measures in agriculture is complex and difficult. Reasons for this include strong weather-related fluctuations in surface water pollutants and changes in the range of plant protection products used. The FOEN-funded project MachTrend tackles this problem. Its objectives are to: (1) investigate whether significant changes in the pesticide load and concentrations will be robustly detectable and (2) how the results at existing monitoring sites can be transferred to all river networks in Switzerland.

MachTrend develops collaborative synergies with the following projects: