2016 Interagency Pesticide Monitoring Initiative


In order to address data gaps identified in the 2013-14 DOH/DOA surface water study and fulfill community requests for additional monitoring data, DOA has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with United States Geological Survey (USGS) for a $500,000 surface water quality study.

Surface water on Oʻahu and Kauaʻi will be sampled for pesticides before and during storm events to evaluate whether pesticides are moving offsite at unacceptable levels.  Different land uses including, urban, rural, and agricultural will be evaluated. Interim results will be released after the first year of the project. DOH is acting as scientific and technical advisors to the project. DOA has committed to an additional year of sampling in all four counties, building on the results gathered in 2016-17.

    • USGS considered 52 candidate sites on Kauaʻi, 100 candidate sites on Oʻahu for multiple sampling events
    • 23 sites on Kauaʻi and 34 sites on Oʻahu meet criteria for size of drainage, % land use, previous data, known concerns
    • Preliminary sampling to test methodologies underway at sites on Oʻahu and Kauaʻi, using a variety of sampling methods for different conditions


2013-2014 Statewide pesticide sampling pilot project

In response to growing community concerns about possible offsite impacts of currently used pesticides on local communities and ecosystems, Hawaiʻi Department of Health (HDOH) and the Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture (HDOA) used agency special funds to design and implement a pilot study to sample surface waters and sediments state wide. The agencies enlisted the help of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to provide state of the art analytical services and expert technical assistance. To extend the reach of our project, USGS provided additional matching funds from their Cooperative Water Program.

In December and January, HDOH sampled surface water and sediment at 24 surface water locations statewide for a comprehensive suite of currently used pesticides. The sites were selected with help from local stakeholders to represent four different land uses, each with differing pesticide use practices. Locations were chosen in areas across the state where currently used pesticides have the potential to enter local surface waters and/or the near shore marine environment.

Study results are being released so that the wide variety of interested parties can evaluate the data immediately and begin to work together to learn more about the occurrence and concentration of currently used pesticides in non-target environments, and how they may relate to different land use types and current pesticide practices. Further assessments and monitoring are dependent upon future funding. As a community, we’ll need to determine if ongoing pesticide monitoring is a priority. In the meantime, we hope to share more details with each of the counties and facilitate discussion among the key stakeholders.


Fact Sheets
The following fact sheets briefly describe the 2013-14 Statewide Pesticide Sampling Pilot Project. The short-term goal of this joint sampling effort is to gather initial data on the types and concentrations of currently used pesticides in surface water and sediment associated with a variety of differing land uses.



Data tables and graphs