♪ California’s waters
are precious and it’s up to all of us
to protect its quality. At the Department
of Pesticide Regulation, our Surface Water
Protection Program monitors waterways
for traces of pesticides and their
breakdown products. We’re trying to establish
if pesticides are moving away
from their intended targets and impacting the quality
of our water and sediment. We are also trying to understand
why they are moving away and what may be done
to stop this movement. In California
all pesticides have to be registered
with the state, and DPR has
the most comprehensive reporting system
in the country. It shows how much
pesticide is used and where it’s
being applied. In addition,
DPR’s collecting and analyzing water and sediment samples
since the 1990s… …in effect,
monitoring the pesticides in California’s waterways
for more than two decades. If pesticides begin showing up
in high enough concentrations, the department has a variety
of options to address the issue. We can work with the pesticide
applicators and manufacturers; mitigate the problems
associated with pesticide use; or do outreach
and education. If necessary, we can take
regulatory action. DPR believes it’s important
to evaluate the potential impact the pesticide products may have
on the aquatic environment before they are used
in California. That’s why the
Surface Water Protection Program uses computer modeling. DPR staff spend
a significant amount of time gathering, evaluating,
and inputting chemical
and toxicity data on the pesticides’
active ingredients into a predictive
computer model. This gives us a quantitative
idea of the potential risk that each product may pose
to the environment. It also gives us an opportunity
to identify potential problems and work with pesticide
companies to solve them, before the pesticide products
are used in California. DPR scientists collect
about fourteen-hundred samples each year
from different water bodies in northern and southern
California. Water samples are chemically
analyzed at state laboratories using sophisticated
technical equipment. We take samples both
in the rainy and dry seasons. We test for pesticides
that are used on the farm, in gardens, in yards,
and around the home. Here, we are taking samples
in Yolo County. This creek is affected
by water that runs off from surrounding
agricultural fields, and may contain pesticides
used to protect crops. Operating an effective
monitoring program means DPR scientists have to consistently
collect water samples from the same area
over a period of time. We test water,
soil and sediment for traces
of pesticides. We do this to find out
how the pesticides affect the environment,
and to try to find out the source
of the pesticide: where it is entering
the watershed. The results from all this
activity can be found online using DPR’s Surface Water
Protection Database. Developed in 1997,
it contains information about the presence
of pesticides in California
surface waters– and contains more
than 384-thousand chemical analysis records. This trove of data helps DPR
to successfully implement our regulatory programs. DPR’s Surface Water
Protection Program helps keep pesticides
from being used in a manner that is detrimental
to humans and aquatic life. By mitigating concerns
of water quality DPR can continue to protect
California’s environment while allowing people
to use pesticides as part of their
pest management strategy. For more information
and to access the Surface Water
Protection Database visit our website
at www.cdpr.ca.gov ♪