As the Nation's largest water, earth, and biological science and civilian mapping agency, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) collects, monitors, analyzes, and provides scientific understanding about natural resource conditions, issues, and problems. As part of the National Water-Quality Assessment Program (NAWQA), the Pesticide National Synthesis Project, which began in 1992, is a national-scale assessment of the occurrence and behavior of pesticides in streams and ground water of the United States and the potential for pesticides to adversely affect drinking-water supplies or aquatic ecosystems.
Two studies conducted by USGS in Hawaii specifically discuss pesticides in surface and groundwater and how they relate to current and former land uses. The report entitled Water Quality on the Island of Oahu Hawaii, 1999–2001 contains the major findings of a 1999–2001 assessment of pesticides in surface and groundwater on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, and provide an excellent reference to understand how pesticide detections reflect upgradient human activities, and how groundwater can store and transport historically used pesticides into streams. The earlier study, Ground-Water Quality and its Relation to Land Use on Oahu, Hawaii, 2000-01 measured the presence of a wide spectrum on organic contaminants in the main drinking-water source aquifers of Oahu using a one-time sampling of untreated ground water from 30 public-supply wells and 15 monitoring wells. Both of these reports describe earlier detections of a number of the same current and historically used pesticides detected in our Pesticide Survey.
Glyphosate Studies USGS leads the country in assessing our streams and lakes for glyphosate and its breakdown product, AMPA in round water and surface waters. Recently, they have begun studying bed sediment concentrations, because glyphosate is known to bind tightly to sediments. Click here for a summary of their current work and publications.