Apr 19, 2021

PWSA Awards Contract to Establish Storm Water Master Plan in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

A storm water master plan is being developed for Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA)

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority announced its contract with the Water Center at Penn and PennPraxis to develop a comprehensive storm water master plan for Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

The firms are co-leading the development of the master plan to develop a global model using the p4 framework, People, Planet, Place, and Performance, according to the PWSA press release.

The project team will examine the challenges and opportunities surrounding storm water, climate change, and its impacts on communities. The goals are to improve water quality, alleviate flooding, reduce basement backups, create jobs, and beautify neighborhoods, according to the PWSA press release.  

“The Water Center and PennPraxis team are uniquely positioned to assist PWSA and the people of Pittsburgh in creating an inclusionary vision for storm water management and the practical guidance to put it into practice,” said Will Pickering, PWSA’s chief executive officer in the press release. “Their focus on community engagement and policies that address local land use and equity issues will lead to a plan that reflects the challenges experienced in Pittsburgh.”


The team includes Grounded Strategies, Moonshot Missions, Andropogon Associates, AKRF, Inc., Susan Rademacher and Heather Sage, and Carnegie Mellon University’s Center for Engineering and Resilience for Climate Change.

The creation of the storm water master plan will fulfill the parameters established in the 2016 Citywide Green First Plan, which primarily considers how improved storm water management can shape the economic and community development of Pittsburgh, leading to greater inclusion and improved equity throughout the city, according to the plan.  

The master plan identifies priorities and milestones to implement within the next five years, which include a proposed storm water fee, a pending consent decree with the EPA, and more. 

The cost to develop the master plan is $500,000 and PWSA is contributing 50% of the cost and is seeking additional funding from local foundations, according to the PWSA press release. 

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