Water quality has been a central theme in a redevelopment project that began with the creation of the Cardiff Bay Development Corporation in 1987. This article will examine the role that water quality has played in the remarkable transformation that has taken place in Cardiff and explain how monitoring technology has developed to the stage whereby any person, anywhere in the world, can view live water quality data at multiple locations in the Cardiff Bay via the YSI EcoNet web-based system.
Cardiff owes much of its history to the Industrial Revolution of the 1790's, which stimulated mining in the valleys of South Wales. By the 1880's, Cardiff had transformed from one of the smallest towns in Wales to the largest and its port was handling more coal than any other port in the world.
On the eve of the First World War in 1913, coal exports reached their peak at over 13 million tonnes. However, following the Second World War, demand for coal declined. Trade was increasingly lost to container ports and by the 1960's coal exports had virtually ceased.