WaterNow is excited to announce a new Accelerator Project in Southwest Pennsylvania!

Through Project Accelerator, we partner with communities and water agencies to champion sustainable, innovative water solutions. As part of our developing regional work in Southwest Pennsylvania, we have selected a pilot project in partnership with Watersheds of South Pittsburgh and the communities of the Saw Mill Run watershed.

Developing Intermunicipal Cooperation in the Saw Mill Run Watershed

Watersheds of South Pittsburgh (WoSPgh) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring urban watersheds in Pittsburgh’s South Hills, including Saw Mill Run. A classic example of an urban stream, Saw Mill Run flows through 12 municipalities, including the City of Pittsburgh, encountering densely developed commercial and residential areas along its course. Watersheds of South Pittsburgh, in partnership with the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority and the 11 municipalities within the Saw Mill Run Watershed, developed an Integrated Watershed Management Plan that lays out a roadmap to restoring the watershed and addressing flooding and water quality issues. However, progress has been slowed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

WaterNow will collaborate with Watersheds of South Pittsburgh to reinvigorate this initiative and develop the political buy-in needed for cooperation in restoring the watershed. This work will be multi-faceted, including research into successful multi-municipal watershed restoration projects elsewhere, developing model agreements, and investigating how cooperating partners may be able to receive credit towards their regulatory requirements for their efforts. By laying the groundwork for effective implementation of stream restoration and green infrastructure in the watershed, WaterNow and Watersheds of South Pittsburgh will protect watershed residents and businesses from future flooding while restoring the ecological quality of a degraded urban stream.

We’re excited to bring this multi-municipal project to life and look forward to more such collaborations in the region!

Many thanks to The Heinz Endowments and Pisces Foundation for their support, which makes this work possible.

The Heinz Endowments seeks to help the region thrive as a whole and just community, and, through that work, to model solutions to major national and global challenges. The organization is devoted to their mission of advancing their vision of southwestern Pennsylvania as a vibrant center of creativity, learning, and social, economic, and environmental sustainability. Their work is supported by reliable data based on equitable, results-focused goals to cultivate a world where all are treated with fairness and respect and have the opportunity to reach their fullest potential.

The Pisces Foundation’s mission is to advance strategic solutions to systemic environmental challenges and prepare the next generation by supporting environmental learning. They collaborate, innovate, and work respectfully in their community.


Photo of Saw Mill Run by Matt Niemi on Flickr, licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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