FIELD STUDIES

Biological and Water Quality Assessments

Kathy Alborado

Chamber Policy Committee Co-Chair

CEO, Helios HR
Chamber Policy Committee

Our Biological Work:

Mitigating ecological, human and regulatory risk.

At Waterborne, we are experienced in several different types of studies such as crop residue, dislodgeable foliar residue (DFR), accumulation, and COSM studies. These studies cover a wide range of agrochemicals, application methods, sampling techniques, and crops across North America. If your company formulates chemistries or products that have potential to move and transform in the environment, being able to count on your research and advisory partner is crucial to your risk management and success.

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Do you have questions about our Field studies work?

Contact Waterborne's Global Field Studies lead, Jennifer Trask, at traskj@waterborne-env.com.

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Our Biological and Water Quality Assessment Work


At Waterborne, we are experienced in several different types of studies such as crop residue, dislodgeable foliar residue (DFR), accumulation, and COSM studies. These studies cover a wide range of agrochemicals, application methods, sampling techniques, and crops across North America. If your company formulates chemistries or products that have potential to move and transform in the environment, being able to count on your research and advisory partner is crucial to your risk management and success. Let us help your business mitigate ecological, human and regulatory risk by providing innovative science and reliable insight to advance your mission.

Our team has developed a diverse network of highly capable field operators, which allows us to place studies within all US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Ecoregions. In Central and South America, our personnel have consulted on several important tolerance studies and influenced positive changes.

Study expertise includes:

  • Magnitude of residue (MOR)
  • Raw agricultural commodities
  • Process commodities
  • Import tolerance
  • Dislodgeable foliar residue (DFR)
  • Accumulation studies
  • Agrochemical residue accumulation studies offered by us include:
  • Irrigated crop
  • Field rotational crop
  • Aquatic nontarget organism

Aquatic Nontarget Organism Studies

Characterizing non-target effects of emergent contaminants in aquatic environments via micro- and mesocosm studies yields valuable risk assessment evaluations. These in-situ studies consider changes in biological abundance, diversity, and composition in context of hydrological, climatic, and water quality conditions. Waterborne has conducted aquatic nontarget organism studies as part of product stewardship and support measures for both the USEPA and individual state agencies.

Pollinator Studies

The production of many important crops has been threatened due to the decline of pollinators in recent years. As we all know too well, the pollinator-plant relationship is a delicate one with each relying on the other for survival. Pesticide use has been identified as one potential contributing factor to these declines along with other factors, such as habitat loss and disease. This has led to increasing calls for research and programs designed to preserve and increase the availability of all pollinators. We at Waterborne are tackling this issue head on with our pollinator studies, including the investigation of the potential impact of pesticides and integrated pest management (IPM) studies.

Environmental Fate and Transport Studies

In response to regulatory concerns, we conduct field studies to determine the carry-over of high-risk chemicals and their metabolites on pollinator food sources. The purpose of these studies is to determine the amount of pesticide, if any, in pollen and nectar of selected crops after applications at the maximum label-use rate typically prior to bloom. Potential residue carry-over and subsequent uptake are investigated by repeating the study a second crop season using the same test sites as in the first year of the study. We develop the study protocol and manage the field work and laboratory analysis.

Field Margin Planting Studies

Field margin planting studies examine best practices for enhancing native bee populations and other pollinators by establishing habitat on agricultural field margins or other areas of low productivity. They use appropriate seed mixtures of wildflowers and other native plants for a particular region and practices for establishing pollinator strips that can be transferred to commercial growers. As part of the field margin studies, Waterborne establishes and maintains the test plots, monitors the results of establishment, and makes recommendations for better results.

IPM studies such as these can demonstrate that biodiversity conservation and conventional agricultural food production can be integrated, resulting in sustainable approaches to crop production.

Water Quality

Water quality refers to the health or condition of water relative to human or ecological requirements.  Typically, water quality is calculated by the chemical, physical, biological, and radiological characteristics of water.  

At Waterborne, we use modeling, GIS, and field-collected data to perform a wide range of water quality assessments in support of surface and groundwater standards set forth by regulatory agencies (including USEPA and EFSA) and to determine potentially vulnerable areas. We can assess local, state, and country compliance using various reference standards. We are leading providers in the following surface and groundwater system services:

  • Vulnerability assessments:  These assessments determine the vulnerability of non-target organisms, groundwater and surface waters to pesticides at regional, national or continental scales.
  • Watershed modeling:  Potential concentrations of agrochemicals can be estimated in surface waters in watersheds. 
  • Personal care products:  To determine the potential effects of personal care products on water quality, we combine population density information, climate, and personal care product use information to estimate the amount of product that reaches surface water sources.
  • Veterinary medicine in the environment:  Using our experiences in modeling and water quality monitoring and environmental fate, we can help determine the potential exposure and risk of veterinary medicines to surface and groundwater. 

At Waterborne, we use GIS in combination with models such as SWAT, PRZM, RIVWQ and/or RICEWQ to estimate environmental concentrations of pesticides, veterinary medicines, personal care products, and pharmaceuticals.