About Us

The Water Center at Penn is a community focused research center working to find integrated solutions to the challenges facing water systems and watersheds.

We strive to be a trusted, reliable partner whose work accelerates water equity.

We believe that clean, accessible, and affordable water is a human right. 

The Water Center uses a community-led research approach, working alongside communities bringing their knowledge and expertise to the solutions addressing their water challenges, sharing power and responsibility, and encouraging them to take the lead in determining priorities, questions to be asked, and the approach to answering those questions.  We share resources, education, training, and applied knowledge to support community goals.

Our work facilitating connections and conversations among stakeholders, developing capacity among stakeholders to create and implement their own solutions, analyzing information needed for critical decision making, and providing clear, actionable communications has resulted in best practices that can be replicated for use in other communities and adapted for use by broader water sector audiences.  

We will continue to use these best practices to engage the Penn community and external stakeholders through collaborative programming, publications, outreach, research opportunities, and inspiring Penn and area high school students to pursue water studies and careers in the water sector.

The following values drive the Center’s activities:

  • Clean, accessible, and affordable water is a human right.

  • Water is critical for good public health, environmental protection, and climate change mitigation and adaptation.  

  • Water is a global issue.  It connects us as individuals, communities, regions, and nations to the best and worst of our natural and built environments.

  • Water is a local issue.  We work in support of identifying sustainable and resilient solutions for communities.