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Our research employs a whole systems approach for environmental solutions.

Straddling England-Wales, the rural Wye catchment is a good example of how pressures from land management for food/farming affect freshwaters. The neighbouring Usk catchment with similar rural headwaters, flows into the more urban area of Newport. Cardiff University has been working on the Wye and Usk catchments for the past 40 years, using these catchments as models to explore the wider question of 'How can we balance freshwater sustainability with societal prosperity in an uncertain world?'

The aim of the Wye and Usk Observatory is to facilitate interdisciplinary collaborations from the natural, social and engineering sciences, and enable partnerships and knowledge exchanges with other organisations that are key to co-design systems-wide solutions for freshwaters.

The Observatory aims to build on our extensive research to deliver whole systems approaches.

Monmouth river

Nature recovery and emerging risks

Bringing together key sources of evidence to investigate environmental challenges associated with industry, sewage, agriculture and climate change.

River Wye and Usk gathering data

Next-generation tools

Advancing tools, models and diagnostics to monitor freshwater ecosystems and optimise catchment management.

River Wye Canoe

Catchment sustainability

Understanding the complex interactions between natural and social systems in freshwater catchments.