Data and facilities
Our academics have been collecting data on the Wye and Usk river catchments for over four decades from source to estuary, through reservoirs, agricultural and urban areas. We also collaborate with citizen scientists to successfully monitor water quality and otter carcasses.
Citizen Science water quality
Water quality including physical, chemical and general observations collected starting in 2021 by citizen scientists, with training from Cardiff University researchers. Citizen scientists collect high frequency water quality data e.g. phosphate, nitrate, turbidity, conductivity and temperature.
Data collected and made available by:
- Campaign for the Protection of Rural England
- Friends of the Lugg
- Friends of the Upper Wye
- Wye Salmon Association
Crayfish and parasites
Prevalence of crayfish parasites in invasive signal crayfish and native white clawed crayfish (2009-2014).
Metagenomic sequencing data of water samples
Biodiversity and ecosystem services
Steve Ormerod’s research from 1980s relating to dippers, invertebrates and acidity. NERC funded Diversity in Upland Rivers for Ecosystem Service Sustainability (DURESS) project (2012-15). Datasets include chemical (1981-2013), bird territories (dipper and grey wagtails, 2007-2010), fish length and weight (2013-15), invertebrate abundance (1981-2012), stable isotopes (2008), photosynthetic rates of biofilm (2013), water quality (2013) and associated site data.
Water quality for water supply
Drivers of algal blooms and their impact on water supply resilience through drought at Landegfedd reservoir and Llangorse lake.
Remote water quality sensors
Water quality sondes installed 2021 and 2022 to measure temperature, level, conductivity, pH, dissolved oxygen and nitrate. Real time data reported every four hours to Hydrovu.com
Otter tissue archive
Long term environmental surveillance scheme (1994- present), using otters found dead to investigate biaccumulative chemicals, disease, and population biology across the UK. Archive of otter tissues and associated data available for further investigations. Otter relatedness research on the Gwent levels informed road building decisions.
Usk reservoir real-time water management model
An intelligent analytics system for real-time catchment regulation and water management. Model can predict water level in next 5 days.
Expertise across the region
Riparian property ownership and common law rights
Energy, infrastructure, economic value of tourism, costs and benefits of environmental interventions
Each year the Observatory hosts research projects from undergraduates through to post-doctoral fellows. We started collecting data in the 1980s, which enables historical trend analysis. We are keen to explore new uses of our data and facilities.