Pittsburgh, PA… Today, the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority's Board of Directors approved a grant agreement with the Hillman Foundation of $100,000 to support the development of the Stormwater Strategic Plan. This grant is one of three received from local foundations, including The Heinz Endowments and the Richard King Mellon Foundation, to advance stormwater planning efforts.
In total, we have received $300,000 from the foundations, each contributing $100,000 towards this effort to develop a comprehensive Stormwater Strategic Plan for Pittsburgh. Funding from the foundations’ supplements funding from PWSA, bringing the total project budget to $550,000.
"We are grateful for the overwhelming support provided by our local funding partners," stated Will Pickering, CEO of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority. "Their generous contributions recognize the need to address our stormwater challenges and demonstrate our collective priority to improve the quality of life for Pittsburgh residents. With this additional support, we can expand our planning efforts and concentrate on outreach to ensure we have robust stakeholder engagement."
About the Stormwater Strategic Plan
In October 2020, PWSA and the City of Pittsburgh launched a global search to develop an innovative stormwater model using the p4 framework of People, Planet, Place, and Performance. After a competitive search, PWSA awarded a contract to Penn Praxis and the Water Center at Penn to lead the stormwater planning efforts. A team of sub-consultants with national expertise and deep knowledge of local water issues completes the team.
The project team is analyzing multiple factors contributing to the local impacts of stormwater, which considers how individual neighborhoods are affected based on their socio-economic demographics and environmental conditions. In early November, they will host a series of focus groups that will provide community stakeholders with the opportunity to offer input and inform the broad goals of the strategic plan.
The Stormwater Strategic Plan builds off past planning efforts using climate change data, community input and prioritizes public health and wellness to provide a cost-effective, inclusive, and sustainable way to address local stormwater problems. The plan will identify the priorities and milestones to implement within the next five years while keeping an eye on the future, so we can be better prepared for the impacts of climate change.
"We are looking forward to the findings that will emerge through the strategic planning process," stated Tony Igwe, PWSA's Senior Group Manager of Stormwater. "With these recommendations, we can be better prepared to address climate change, provide reasonable storm protection, and ensure that all Pittsburgh neighborhoods are represented. The strategic plan is an exciting and timely effort for the Pittsburgh community to take on."
For more information, please visit www.pgh2o.com/stormwater-strategic-plan-faq.