The water quality issues facing the waters of the Wye and Usk catchments are well researched and documented and frequently reported in local, regional and national press. This brief document does not set out to illustrate the need for making changes in nutrient management in the catchment, but instead starts from the point of accepting that changes need to be made to current practices and to look at what is already being done as well as undertaking a brief review of where similar problems at a catchment scale have been addressed in other countries.

This document represents a short examination of how circular nutrient management works and how it might be introduced into agricultural systems in Wales. The evidence available clearly shows that nutrient use in the catchment is very linear at present, with losses to the environment causing serious water quality issues. Moving to a more circular approach requires a systems thinking approach that addresses several areas. WRAP recommend that the Welsh Government:

• Continue and accelerate the ongoing work on the SAC Nutrient action plan and ensure that the phosphate action plan is resourced and completed.

• Work with NRW and other regulators to ensure that the existing regulatory framework effectively ensures circular use of nutrients. This may mean ensuring effective enforcement of current regulations as well as looking forward to identify potential changes for the near to medium future.

• Learn from countries and regions where circular nutrient management is the norm, making direct contact with key policy makers and organisations in the Netherlands and in Flanders

• Commission a technoeconomic feasibility study to examine the best potential options for Wales.

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  • Nutrient Circularity for the Wye and Usk Catchments

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Circular Economy Fund