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Abstract

When used in addition to environmentally friendly cultural practices, buffer zones can limit the water transfer of pollutants, in particular pesticides, towards water resources. The choice of the buffer zones' type and positioning, considering water pathways and flow components, is crucial. When this choice has been performed, buffer zones dimensions must still be optimized, according to the environment characteristics, which strongly influence their effectiveness. This article presents a method and its associated tools, including VFSMOD model, which aim at optimizing vegetative buffer zones (VFS) sizes, by simulating their transfer mitigation effectiveness. A first application of this methodology is illustrated on a small agricultural watershed in Brittany. A second application, based on the simulation of a large number of scenarios, leads to the elaboration of nomograms. They allow optimizing VFS size in a simpler way from the user's point of view.

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