Stormwater Strategic Plan

Stormwater Strategic Plan Cover Page

In October 2020, the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) and the City of Pittsburgh launched a global search  to develop an innovative approach to address stormwater management in Pittsburgh. 

With support from the Heinz Endowments, the Richard King Mellon Foundation, and the Hillman Foundation, we embarked upon the first phase of this long-term planning effort. In June 2021, Penn Praxis and The Water Center at Penn were selected by PWSA to lead the stormwater planning efforts, with support by a team of sub-consultants having national expertise and a deep knowledge of local water issues. 

The Stormwater Strategic Plan is now complete and available to download and read. 

If you would like to have a high resolution, print quality copy of the Stormwater Strategic Plan mailed to you, please email Beth Dutton, Senior Project Manager, Stormwater to request a copy.

Additional information about the Stormwater Strategic Plan is available in this helpful FAQ

Community Engagement and Public Comment

Engaging with the community was an essential component for developing the Stormwater Strategic Plan. From focus groups and community workshops to stormwater ambassadors and online engagement, we used a variety of methods to reach customers and stakeholders across Pittsburgh. Your insight has helped to shape the Plan and will be used as we move forward with future stormwater projects and planning initiatives. 

PWSA has an ongoing commitment to public engagement and outreach and will provide a process for our community to provide input into our ongoing stormwater planning and implementation of projects.

Plan Overview

The PWSA Stormwater Strategic Plan builds off past planning efforts by using climate data, previous regional studies, community input, and best practices by our peer utilities to provide recommendations that consider equity, the environment, priority sites, and water quality. 

Recommendations Include: 

  1. Develop and Implement a Communication Framework to Increase Transparency and Understanding of the PWSA Strategy and the Stormwater Fee Value Proposition 
  2. Institute a Joint Task Force to Develop City-Wide Action Plans for More Coordinated and Effective Management of Stormwater
  3. Analyze Priority Areas for Investment 
  4. Define Initial Investment Strategies 
  5. Establish Guiding Principles and Comprehensive Approach to Stormwater and Flooding “Level of Service” 
  6. Leverage Stormwater Fee Impact Through Public and Private Investment, Innovative Partnerships and Technologies, and Job Training Programs

The Stormwater Strategic Plan is aspirational and should be viewed as a strategic step towards stormwater management. PWSA intends to use the Plan recommendations to eventually design and implement specific projects that meet a determined level of service to manage stormwater quantity at a rate PWSA customers can afford. As such, this plan presents a strategy to be used in reaching our final goal of delivering cost-effective and environmentally compliant stormwater service.

The Plan is an exciting and timely effort for a cost-effective, inclusive, and sustainable way to address local stormwater problems and ensure that all Pittsburgh neighborhoods are represented.