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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.
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