On the scope and management of pesticide pollution of Swedish groundwater resources: The Scanian example

Ambio. 2015 Apr;44(3):226-38. doi: 10.1007/s13280-014-0548-1. Epub 2014 Aug 29.


Twenty-three south-Swedish public supply wells were studied to assess pesticide pollution of regional groundwater resources. Relations between pesticide occurrence, hydrogeology, and land use were analyzed using Kohonen's Self-Organizing Maps approach. Pesticides are demonstrated to be substantially present in regional groundwater, with detections in 18 wells. Concentrations above the drinking water threshold are confirmed for nine wells. Observations indicate considerable urban influence, and lagged effects of past, less restricted use. Modern, oxic waters from shallow, unconfined, unconsolidated or fracture-type bedrock aquifers appear particularly vulnerable. Least affected waters appear primarily associated with deeper wells, anoxic conditions, and more confined sediment aquifers lacking urban influence. Comprehensive, standardized monitoring of pesticides in groundwater need to be implemented nationwide to enable sound assessments of pollution status and trends, and to develop sound groundwater management plans in accordance with the Water Framework Directive. Further, existing water protection areas and associated regulations need to be reassessed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Conservation of Natural Resources*
  • Drinking Water / analysis*
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Environmental Policy*
  • Groundwater / analysis*
  • Pesticides / analysis*
  • Sweden
  • Time Factors
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / analysis*


  • Drinking Water
  • Pesticides
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical