Events / Water Exchange Speaker Series: Climate Change Planning and Adaptation

Water Exchange Speaker Series: Climate Change Planning and Adaptation

May 11, 2022
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
You are invited to join the Water Center’s virtual Water Exchange Speaker Series at 12 PM on Wednesday, May 11, 2022.

About this event


This panel discussion – “Climate Change Planning and Adaption” – features three members of the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC)’s Advisory Committee on Climate Change (ACCC). Our panelists, Amanda Babson of the National Park Service, Elizabeth Koniers Brown of the Delaware River Basin Commission, and Julia Rockwell of the Philadelphia Water Department, will discuss climate change planning and adaptation from the federal, regional, and municipal perspectives.


Amanda will offer a federal-level perspective of adapting to climate change, through the lens of the National Park Service’s natural and cultural assets. In addition to her experience with coastal parks, she will highlight NPS work in the freshwater space and guidance driving planning and management across the Service.


Julia will provide an overview of the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) Climate Change Adaptation Program’s approach to mainstream and operationalize climate change projections in infrastructure planning and design practices. The Department has employed both bottom-up and top-down approaches to further climate adaptation efforts within the organization. Bottom-up approaches focus on building staff capacity and regularly engaging with subject matter experts, while top-down, policy-driven approaches drive change and support consistent use of new information in long-standing processes and programs.


Elizabeth will highlight how the Delaware River Basin Commission incorporates climate change into its work across water quality, water availability, water equity, and water resiliency, and how engaging partnerships helps strengthen decision making at a river-basin scale.


The conversation will be moderated by Howard Neukrug, Executive Director at The Water Center and Committee Chair of the DRBC’s ACCC, and will provide time for a Q&A session with audience participation.



  • Amanda Babson, Coastal Landscape Adaptation Coordinator, National Park Service’s Region 1 North Atlantic-Appalachian
  • Elizabeth Koniers Brown, Director of External Affairs and Communications, Delaware River Basin Commission
  • Julia Rockwell, Climate Change Adaptation Program Manager, Philadelphia Water Department



  • Howard Neukrug, Executive Director, The Water Center



About National Park Service’s Region 1 North Atlantic-Appalacian


Interior Region 1–also known as the North Atlantic-Appalachian Region–supports national parks, programs and National Heritage Areas in the northeastern United States from Maine to Virginia. Regional offices in Philadelphia and Boston provide employees with specialized expertise and tools that will foster growth, development, and safety of regional National Park Service (NPS) employees, volunteers, and partners so that they may better serve the American people and all visitors to our national parks.


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About Delaware River Basin Commission


DRBC was founded in 1961 when President Kennedy and the governors of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Delaware for the first time signed concurrent compact legislation into law creating a regional body with the force of law to oversee a unified approach to managing a river system without regard to political boundaries.


The members of this regional body — the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) — include the four basin state governors and the Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers North Atlantic Division, who serves as the federal representative. The five members appoint alternate commissioners, with the governors selecting high-ranking officials from their state environmental agencies. Each commissioner has one vote of equal power with a majority vote needed to decide most issues.


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About the Philadelphia Water Department


The primary mission of the PWD is to plan for, operate, and maintain both the infrastructure and the organization necessary to purvey high quality drinking water, to provide an adequate and reliable water supply for all household, commercial, and community needs, and to sustain and enhance the region’s watersheds and quality of life by managing wastewater and stormwater effectively.


In fulfilling its mission, the utility seeks to be customer-focused, delivering services in a fair, equitable, and cost-effective manner, with a commitment to public involvement.


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About the Water Center at Penn


The Water Center at the University of Pennsylvania 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.


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