Pittsburgh Water Collaboratory Selected to Host Southwestern Pennsylvania Water Network

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Local Organization Selected to Host Southwestern Pennsylvania Water Network

The Water Center at the University of Pennsylvania announced today that after a robust selection process, the Pittsburgh Collaboratory for Water Research, Education, and Outreach has been selected to host the Southwestern Pennsylvania (SW PA) Water Network, a coalition of individuals involved with water-related activities across 10 counties in the southwestern portion of the state. 

“We are delighted to be working alongside CONNECT and the Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center to host the Southwestern Pennsylvania Water Network at the University of Pittsburgh,” said Emily Elliott, director of the Pittsburgh Water Collaboratory. “The continued advancement, growth, and autonomy of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Water Network is essential to the future of water sustainability in our region and we are excited about the new synergy this will bring to our collective efforts.”

In 2018, the Water Center at Penn received funding through Heinz Endowments to do an assessment of the 'State of the Waters' in Southwestern PA, focusing on challenges and opportunities around water resource management as well as on capabilities, priorities, and drivers for local actors. Based on conversations and collaboration with local water leaders, The Water Center at Penn and local stakeholders put forward a  recommendation to establish the SW PA Water Network. Over the last two years, a foundation has been laid for the Network’s purpose, vision, and goals, culminating in this transition from development with the Water Center at Penn to being hosted by a local organization.

“We’re thrilled to see the Network continue through local partnerships,” said Howard Neukrug, executive director of the Water Center. 

The SW PA Water Network aims to see local water resources sustainably, equitably, and collaboratively managed to protect public health and the environment; enhance community and system resilience; and deliver economic, ecological, and social benefits for all of the region’s residents. 

Transitional funding for this hosting arrangement will be administered through the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies, generously provided by the Heinz Endowments.

“This collaborative work presents a unique opportunity for the entire region to continue its improvement of our water resources,” said Mike Kane, Community Foundation president. “We are very pleased to serve our role in support of the Pittsburgh Water Collaboratory.” 

More information about this hosting arrangement and the SW PA Water Network can be found here.

About The Water Center at the University of Pennsylvania 

The Water Center is a trans-disciplinary applied research center focused on solving today’s urban water challenges. Aligning the University of Pennsylvania’s academic resources with water practitioner expertise, the Water Center at Penn combines policy, science and technology to create equitable, resilient and sustainable solutions. Website: https://watercenter.sas.upenn.edu/ 

About The Pittsburgh Water Collaboratory at the University of Pittsburgh

The Pittsburgh Water Collaboratory was initiated by faculty in the Department of Geology & Environmental Science in 2017 to align efforts across the region by connecting universities, local governments, non-profits, & community groups. In January 2018, funding was received from the Heinz Endowments. Since being funded, the Water Collaboratory has conducted extensive outreach efforts to gauge research needs in the region with respect to key water challenges: water quality, green infrastructure, and flooding. Website: https://water.pitt.edu 

About the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies 

The Community Foundation for the Alleghenies was established to be agile, adaptive, and forward-looking. Through the charitable giving of its donors, the Foundation builds professionally managed assets to support Cambria, Bedford, Somerset, and Indiana counties. The Foundation is overseen by an active volunteer board and committees, complies with national standards established by the Council on Foundations, and holds the highest possible GuideStar ranking for transparency. Website: https://cfalleghenies.org/


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