Southwestern Pennsylvania Water Network and Leadership Incubator

SW PA Water Network – Request for Proposals 2022
The Southwestern Pennsylvania (SW PA) Water Network has grown to over 170 individuals, representing the public, private, and civil sector from 10 counties, working to see transformational change in the region’s water resources and management. As the network continues to grow, it is necessary to think about the longevity of this group and where it might reside long-term. A formal request for proposals (RFP) has been issued by the network’s Strategic Working Group to determine a host organization where the Southwestern Pennsylvania (SW PA) Water Network might reside, being hosted with autonomy.

PROPOSAL DEADLINE: Tuesday, February 1st (submissions accepted here).

An information session about the selection process and RFP will be held on Friday, January 7th at 10am (more information here). Any questions or feedback about the RFP or selection process can be submitted through this form.

Photo credit: FedStats, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Additional Resources for the Selection Process

Information Session – 7 Jan 2022

Recording – Information Session


Project partners: Institute of Conservation Leadership and Academy of Natural Sciences at Drexel University

Phase 1: (2018-2019)

An exploratory study was conducted, Accelerating Transformational Change in Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers, to explore the challenges and opportunities for water resource management in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Conversations with local stakeholders found that addressing the current water system chal­lenges in Southwest Pennsylvania effectively and efficiently requires a systematic and integrated approach. A final recommendation was made to establish cooperation and trust across geographical, jurisdictional, political, social and cultural boundaries through an inclusive and transparent process.

Phase 2: (2019-2021)

Building on Phase I recommendations, the Water Center at Penn has supported the creation and ongoing development of a Southwestern Pennsylvania (SW PA) Water Network as a neutral facilitator. Key guiding documents have been created, including: vision, purpose and goals, network participation, leadership structure, and a recommendation for what type of administrative arrangement might work best for long-term sustainability. Other activities include the development of a SW PA Leadership Incubator program – identifying, developing, and equipping the next generation of diverse regional water leaders with collaborative leadership skills and relationships necessary for achieving the network vision and goals. The Water Center at Penn assisted with documenting water data-related needs in the region to support robust data collec­tion, monitoring, and communication. Finally, technical and financial assistance and support has been provided to a number of small towns and municipalities within the Three Rivers region that are currently suffering from insuf­ficient capacity to deliver the water services for which they are responsible.

Phase 3: (2021-2022)

Building on progress made in Phase II, the Water Center at Penn staff is supporting the SW PA Water Network in implementing recommendations, specifically the selection of a host organization and a local coordinator, and the transition process. Phase III also builds on the areas of high energy for specific water issues as expressed by network members during all-network meetings in prior phases, facilitating opportunities to connect and participate in the network and finding potential joint collaboration. The Leadership Incubator is undergoing a second cohort program, and the data initiative continues to develop resources for local water leaders to understand the data-related resources in the region and develop priorities for coming years.

For more information about the SW PA Water Network, please see this overview, or contact Miriam Hacker at

Engagement Opportunities


Southwestern PA Water Network Virtual Engagement

Seeking Stakeholder Feedback on Draft Southwestern PA Water Network Vision/Purpose/Goals – Closed



Contact Information


Miriam Hacker

Senior Research Implementation Lead, The Water Center at Penn

Project Lead



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Funding Partners

Project Partners