A model has been developed which estimates the magnitude and the spatial distribution of pesticide losses from diffuse sources (surface run-off, tile drains and spraydrift) into surface waters for the entire area of Germany. The cumulative annual losses of 42 active ingredients applied to 11 field crops, orchards and vineyards are calculated for river basins in Germany based on grid maps with a resolution of 1 × 1 km2. The model validation showed a sufficient degree of accuracy of the model results compared to measured pesticide loads in 13 small catchments. According to the model results the pesticide input from diffuse sources into surface waters amounted to 13.8 t in 1994 aggregated for the entire area of Germany. Input via surface runoff contributed 9.1 t while tile drainage was 1.4 t and spraydrift 3.4 t respectively. Alongside the model calculations empirical data of the pesticide load of rivers in Germany are presented. A comparison of the measured river loads with the modeled inputs from non-point sources leads to the conclusion that in most regions of Germany the largest portion of the load is due to the input from farm effluents.

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