Modelling the behaviour and fate of priority pesticides in South Africa.
The use of pesticides poses a serious threat to the limited water resources of South Africa. The amounts which are not taken up by crop plants, are often washed away by runoff into surface waters, or leached through the soil, causing groundwater pollution. The problem of pesticide pollution is often intensified by inappropriate usage, disposal and monitoring in agriculture and predictive models have proven to be an effective tool for improving management practices. Research, however, has focused mainly on surface water contamination and groundwater impacts are largely unknown. Furthermore, pesticide registration in South Africa is largely determined by international standards and there is a need for impact assessments to be carried out under local conditions. The aims of this study included the determination of priority pesticides in South Africa based on usage and properties, the determination of pesticide sorption in two selected South African soils, and an assessment of pesticide fate by modelling.