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Reservoirs are used to store water for public water supply, flood control, irrigation, recreation, hydropower, and wildlife habitat, but also often store undesirable substances such as herbicides. The outflow from 76 reservoirs in the midwestern USA, was sampled four times in 1992 and four times in 1993. At least one herbicide was detected in 82.6 percent of all samples, and atrazine was detected in 82.1 percent of all samples. Herbicide properties; topography, land use, herbicide use, and soil type in the contributing drainage area; residence time of water in reservoirs; and timing of inflow, release, and rainfall all can affect the concentration of herbicides in reservoirs. A GIS was used to quantify characteristics of land use, agricultural chemical use, climatic conditions, topographic character, and soil type by reservoir drainage basins. Multiple linear and logistic regression equations were used to model mean herbicide concentrations in reservoir outflow as a function of these characteristics. Results demonstrate a strong association between mean herbicide concentrations in reservoir outflow and herbicide use rates within associated drainage basins. Results also demonstrate the importance of including soils and basin hydrologic characteristics in models used to estimate mean herbicide concentrations.
Additional Publication Details
Regression models of herbicide concentrations in outflow from reservoirs in the midwestern USA, 1992-1993
Journal of the American Water Resources Association