Calling Southwest Pennsylvania water utilities and communities: apply for WaterNow’s Regional Project Accelerator!
We are excited to announce that we are now accepting applications for the next round of Project Accelerator – focused specifically on Southwest Pennsylvania communities. Offering 250 hours of pro-bono assistance to support innovative projects in sustainable and equitable water management, the Accelerator is open to cities, towns, or special districts responsible for drinking water, wastewater, and/or stormwater services.
Depending on each community’s goals, the support provided by Project Accelerator can encompass program design and management, policy and legal analysis, community stakeholder outreach, communications strategy, data analysis, and sustainability expertise. Past projects have supported communities in navigating the new federal funding and financing opportunities, developing a green streets ordinance, and enhancing outreach, engagement, and program participation in their communities.
This application round will also build on the first Southwest Pennsylvania Project Accelerator Round piloted last winter, which resulted in an on-going project with Watersheds of South Pittsburgh (WoSPgh). WaterNow is partnering with WoSPgh to reinvigorate their Integrated Watershed Management Plan and develop political buy-in needed for cooperation in restoring the watershed. This work includes 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 WoSPgh will protect watershed residents and businesses from future flooding while restoring the ecological quality of a degraded urban stream.
Our research and experience in Southwest Pennsylvania have found that communities in the region are seeking support developing their stormwater management programs, especially around decentralized, “green” or nature-based solutions. WaterNow will prioritize projects focusing on green stormwater solutions when considering applications for this Accelerator round. While the list of potential projects is endless, an ideal Accelerator project will implement sustainable solutions, advance social equity, and foster climate resilience. To view additional examples of past projects, view responses to frequently asked questions, or to apply, visit WaterNow’s website. The deadline to apply is August 4th.
Are you a water leader interested in Project Accelerator, but not located in Southwest Pennsylvania? Consider becoming a WaterNow Alliance member to be notified of future application rounds, including national rounds to which any water service provider can apply. Stay tuned for more!