- The Real-time Predictions of Agricultural Chemical Runoff: Multi-scale visualisations of water quality risks and costs project is funded jointly by NERC and BBSRC and various industry partners as a Sustainable Agriculture Research and Innovation Club (SARIC) research project from 2017-01-01 to 2018-08-01.
- The project will develop a prototype web based decision support tool to support farmers and water resource organisations with regard agri-chemical applications for controlling pests. The main objectives are to:
- Provide information to farmers about when, where and under what conditions the water pollution risks of applying specific agricultural chemicals (pesticides and herbicides) are low and when these risks are high.
- Provide information to water companies about the likely water pollution risks as a result of agricultural pesticide and herbicide application at numerous water abstraction locations at different times.
- It is currently beyond the scope of the project to collect data from farmers about where and when ‘pests’ are prevalent and how much agricultural chemical has been applied to deal with the pests. The project is also not collecting data from sensors in situ or undertaking any environmental testing. It is though recognised that such data would facilitate the development of models that more accurately predict the diffusion and concentration of pesticide and herbicide in the environment.
- The prototype will draw on Met Office data of observed and forecast weather and use this in field scale and catchment models that predict: runoff and the efficacy of pesticide application at the field scale; and, pollution levels at the catchment scale and in particular around specific sites used for abstracting water.