WaterNow is partnering with Watersheds of South Pittsburgh to develop a framework for multi-municipal cooperation on the restoration of Saw Mill Run watershed and the implementation of its Integrated Watershed Management Plan. The intergovernmental agreement template created through this project will support collaboration between upstream and downstream municipalities, breaking down barriers to the effective management of the watershed, and serving as an example which can be replicated in other watersheds throughout the southwest Pennsylvania region.
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.
Stay tuned! This project is currently underway.