Water Center Curriculum

Interested in water? Below is a list of courses taught by The Water Center at Penn’s Executive Director, Howard Neukrug.

Charting a New Course for the Water Industry

Semester: Summer 2020

School: Art & Sciences

Department: EES

Course Code: ENVS 675-961

This short course is led by the former CEO of Philadelphia Water and the Chair of the
Leading Utilities of the World Network. Professor of Practice Howard Neukrug will lead a series of discussions on the:

1) a brief history of water infrastructure systems in the US and the paradox of how our water resources have been used, valued, and priced over time;

2) a specific focus on the past 50 years of Philadelphia’s efforts to meet the challenges of the Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act through leadership in the legislative, regulatory, management, and policy and research arenas of the water business; and

3) personal interviews with key water leaders on their greatest challenges past and future and how they are managing change and innovation towards more sustainable water systems in the 21st century.

The Role of Water in Urban Sustainability and Resiliency

Semester: Fall 2020

School: Art & Sciences

Department: EES

Course Code: ENVS 410-301

This course will provide an overview of the cross-disciplinary fields of civil engineering, environmental sciences, urban hydrology, landscape architecture, green building, public outreach and politics. Students will be expected to conduct field investigations, review scientific data and create indicator reports, working with stakeholders and presenting the results at an annual symposium. There is no metaphor like water itself to describe the cumulative effects of our practices, with every upstream action having an impact downstream. In our urban environment, too often we find degraded streams filled with trash, silt, weeds and dilapidated structures. The water may look clean, but is it? We blame others, but the condition of the creeks is directly related to how we manage our water resources and our land. In cities, these resources are often our homes, our streets and our communities. This course will define the current issues of the urban ecosystem and how we move toward managing this system in a sustainable manner. We will gain an understanding of the dynamic, reciprocal relationship between practices in a watershed and its waterfront. Topics discussed include drinking water quality and protection, green infrastructure, urban impacts of climate change, watershed monitoring, public education, creating strategies and more.

The U.S. Water Industry in the 21st Century

Semester: Spring 2021

School: Art & Sciences

Department: EES

Course Code: ENVS 629-660

This course will explore all 4 sectors of the water business in the United States: The Drinking Water Industry, The Stormwater Utility, Water Resources (rivers, streams, reservoirs) Management and the Water Pollution Control Industry. The course will have 2 primary foci: 1. The influences on the industry from new technologies and infrastructure, acceptable levels of risk, public and private sector competition, climate change, the bottled water industry, resource recovery, rates and affordability and other influences will be investigated. 2. The management of a 21st century utility will be explored, including topics of organization and leadership, the role of environmentalism, infrastructure financing, water / wastewater treatment facility operations, public affairs and media, and designing a capital improvement program are examples of topic areas.

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