About PLAP, the Danish Pesticide Leaching Assessment Programme.

The PLAP is headed by the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS) in close cooperation with the Department of Agroecology (AGRO) at Aarhus University, as subsupplier, the Department of Bioscience (BIOS) at Aarhus University and the Danish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Background

In Denmark, the vast majority of our drinking water comes directly from the groundwater. Since Denmark is an agricultural country, where pesticides have been used since the 1950es, it is necessary to evaluate if approved pesticides and/or their degradation products are leached to the groundwater in concentrations above the permitted limit.

The national groundwater-monitoring programme (GRUMO) was initiated in 1989 to monitor the quality of the groundwater from 10 m below the surface and downwards. Due to an increasing number of occurrences of pesticides and their degradation products and lack of knowledge if this was caused by the farmers’ use of approved pesticides, the PLAP was established in 1999.

Objectives

The PLAP has two main objectives:

  1. To evaluate if approved pesticides and/or their degradation products leach to the groundwater in concentrations above the permitted limit.
  2. To prepare and inform about the scientific foundation for optimising the Danish authorities’ approval and regulation procedures for pesticides based on the collected monitoring data.

Photo: Lars Gudmundsson

Scientist working with a labtop on a testfield