GROUNDWATER VULNERABILITY TO AGROCHEMICAL CONTAMINATION

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Rogério Barbosa Soares
Samiria Maria Oliveira Silva
Francisco de Assis de Souza Filho
Ticiana Marinho de Carvalho Studart
Renata Locarno Frota

Abstract

This research aimed at evaluating groundwater vulnerability to agrochemical contamination. To that end, we developed an index called Hydric Vulnerability and Agrochemical Contamination Index (HVACI), which integrates a geographic information system and fuzzy logic to measure catchment vulnerability to agrochemical contamination. Our case study investigates two sub-basins, the Baixo Jaguaribe and the Médio Jaguaribe, in the state of Ceará, Brazil. We built a logical relationship matrix involving economic and environmental information as a tool to enhance public managers’ decision-making capabilities. Evaluation was based on four categories of vulnerability — high, medium-high, medium-low, and low —, and we found that the joint area of the Baixo Jaguaribe and Médio Jaguaribe sub-basins presented the following levels of risk contamination: 80.3% of the area had low vulnerability, 3.5% had medium-low vulnerability, 3.0% had medium-high vulnerability, and 13.2% had high vulnerability. Geographically, the municipalities with high vulnerability to contamination by pesticides were Aracati, Icapuí, Limoeiro do Norte, Tabuleiro do Norte, and Quixeré. Therefore, HVACI is an important tool for directing environmental management efforts toward areas identified as highly vulnerable to agrochemical contamination.

Article Details

How to Cite
Soares, R., Silva, S., Souza Filho, F., Studart, T., & Frota, R. (2020). GROUNDWATER VULNERABILITY TO AGROCHEMICAL CONTAMINATION. Brazilian Journal of Environmental Sciences (Online), 55(4), 440 - 455. https://doi.org/10.5327/10.5327/Z2176-947820200531
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Articles
Author Biographies

Rogério Barbosa Soares, Universidade Federal do Ceará (UFC)

PhD student in Water Resourses at the Federal University of Ceará and Technical of the Institute of Research and Economic Strategy of Ceará

Samiria Maria Oliveira Silva, Universidade Federal do Ceará (UFC)

Professor of the Department of Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering at the Federal University of Ceará

Francisco de Assis de Souza Filho, Universidade Federal do Ceará (UFC)

Professor of the Department of Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering at the Federal University of Ceará

Ticiana Marinho de Carvalho Studart, Universidade Federal do Ceará (UFC)

Professor of the Department of Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering at the Federal University of Ceará

Renata Locarno Frota, Universidade Federal do Ceará (UFC)

PhD student in Water Resourses at the Federal University of Ceará