Document Type



Utah State Cooperative Extension Service

Publication Date



Production of adequate supplies of food and fiber currently requires that pesticides be used to limit crop losses from insects, pathogens, weeds and other pests. Although pesticides are necessary in today's agriculture, they can be a serious problem if they reach and contaminate ground water, especially in places where drinking water needs are supplied from ground water. The relative reduction of potential ground-water contamination due to agricultural use of pesticides was analyzed for particular sites in Utah. The potential reduction of pesticides in ground water was considered by utilizing alternative irrigation systems, water management practices and pesticides. A one-dimensional simulation model, CMLS (Chemical Movement in Layered Soils), was utilized to simulate the movement of pesticides through soils. A hydraulic irrigation model (Kinematic-wave) was used to estimate water infiltrating through the soil profile for alternative furrow irrigation system designs and water management practices. The study indicates that a reduction in the likelihood of ground-water contamination due to agricultural use of pesticides can be achieved with careful use of pesticides, appropriate irrigation system design and water management techniques.