Finding real world solutions to our shared water problems demands that we collaborate with a vast spectrum of stakeholders—from local volunteers and community groups, to the Water Utility CEO, to the experts from the technology and consulting industries, to the academic researcher and to their students who will become our next generation of leaders.
Faculty Researchers and Students
Get involved and help us build a brighter future for urban water system resiliency and sustainability across the globe.
Influence the next generation of water professionals by sharing your challenges, your priorities and your innvoations and knowledge.
The Water Technology and Consulting Community
Learn how you can support and coordinate with water research at Penn, or become a sponsor!
Whether you are a volunteer from the local civic group or environmental organization, or in leadership at a major NGO, we want to include your perspective and voice in everything we do.
Practitioners: Water Utilities and Affiliated Networks
The Water Center at Penn has the potential to foster an enormous impact for water utility practitioners. Utility manager and operators can take advantage of our network to connect to cutting-edge research and ideas. They will be able to transfer these ideas and technologies with each other, researchers at Penn, and our sponsors. They can share their successes and failures, as well as work together to resolve barriers preventing them from successfully implementing their strategies. The Water Center at Penn will host workshops and conferences to bring these experts together to build a more sustainable future for our world’s water systems. Further, through projects from our sponsors, water utilities can even begin to implement these solutions in their cities, sponsor projects, or conduct research themselves.
Water hubs (regional areas of focused water research and/or water industry scientific technology advancements) have sprung up across the United States. The Water Center at Penn will act as a connecting point between the Philadelphia water community and these hubs across the world. The Water Center at Penn will address shared problems that these utilities face, such as, regulation revision, privatization, financing, and innovating.
Related institutions include:
- Global Water Leaders Group
- International Water Association
- Engineers without Borders
- Global Water Alliance
- US Water Alliance
- S. Department of Energy
- Environmental Protection Agency
- S. Department of Agriculture
- National Association of Clean Water Agencies
- Jersey Water Works
- The William Penn Foundation
- The Water Research Foundation
- American Society of Civil Engineers
- National Rural Water Association
- The Clinton Global Initiative
- The Nature Conservancy
- The Rockefeller Foundation
- Water for People
- Peace Corps
- Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies
- The World Bank
- Partnership for the Delaware Estuary
- The Water Environment and Reuse Foundation
Academics: Penn and Philadelphia Academic Community
The University of Pennsylvania has the reputation and intellectual capacity to house a water policy and science research center in a safe and trusted environment. The water world is often complex, fragmented, and fought over. By connecting our water researchers across the schools of the University, we can better leverage our capacity as a great water university in a great water city.
The University’s Philadelphia location is at the heart of one of the world’s leading cities in sustainable water innovation, research, and policy development. The Greater Philadelphia region holds the headquarters to three of the world’s largest water companies (American Water Works Company, GE Water, and AQUA American Water) and Philadelphia Water is one of the world’s most innovative public utilities. Research done by the University of Pennsylvania and the surrounding community, relevant to making meaningful change in the water industry, includes: engineering and technology, social sciences and environmental health, as well as business, policy, and urban planning.
Engineering and Technology
Research done by the engineering and technology arms of the University of Pennsylvania and other Philadelphia academic institutions can contribute substantially to water organizations that support the industry. By connecting researchers with industry and utility leaders early on in their projects, the Water Center at Penn can accelerate the introduction and implementation of new technologies, and help shape research to be real-world-applicable. Engineering and technology research can include pipe materials, robotics, metering, big data analysis tools, membrane research, and much more.
Social Sciences and Environmental Health
The University of Pennsylvania has already invested millions of dollars managing its campus’ water resources. It has designed and built some of the most innovative examples of green roofs (Neural & Behavioral Sciences Building) and rain gardens (Shoemaker Green). The University has recently extended its campus to cross the Schuylkill River and is a major sponsor of the return of access, safety, and aesthetic and water quality improvements to this major water body. Research being done at the University in social science and environmental health can be aided by the Water Center acting as a starting point to engage industry and practice professionals – steering research in the direction of
Business, Policy, and Urban Planning
The Water Center will attract attention and funding from
Related University of Pennsylvania Institutes include:
- Penn Institute for Urban Research
- Kleinman Center for Energy Policy
- Vagelos Institute for Energy Science & Technology
- Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology
- Wharton Risk Management Center
- Netter Center for Community Partnerships
- Perry World House
- Fels Institute of Government
- Ian McHarg Center at the School of Design
- Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership (IGEL)
- Penn Center for Innovation (PCI)
Related University of Pennsylvania academic schools include:
- School of Engineering and Applied Science
- School of Arts & Sciences
- Perelman School of Medicine
- School of Social Policy & Practice
- Wharton School
Related institutions include:
- Villanova University
- Temple University
- Drexel University
- Stroud Research Institute
- Academy of Natural Sciences
Industry: Utility Vendor Community
The utility vendor community is a critical source of innovation for the world’s water network. Software companies like Bentley Systems
Related utility vendors include:
- Bentley Systems
- Suez Water
- Aqua America
- American Water
- Veolia Water
- Xylem / Sensus
- Mueller Systems
- Water H2O
Community: Local Environment Groups and Community Leaders
A critical component