The Water Center at Penn to Explore Systemic Issues

Howard Neukrug, Professor of Practice in the Department of Earth and Environmental Science, is establishing The Water Center at Penn, which will be dedicated to advancing water policy research and urban water innovation by combining the expertise of academics, industry experts, and community representatives. The goal is to find real-world solutions to shared water problems, including issues such as toxins in drinking water, extreme storm events, and rising tides.

The Center will also strive to create a regional hub for the advancement of national water policy research. Plans include an annual conference and numerous workshops throughout the year to bring together experts focused on building a more sustainable future. It will also sponsor faculty projects and work to ensure that students are exposed to a wide-ranging research and community-based service learning opportunities. Penn’s ties with national water groups will identify major trends and research partnerships.

Neukrug is the former CEO of the Philadelphia Water Department, where he was responsible for all aspects of drinking water, wastewater, and storm water. His passion for water drove him to establish Philadelphia's $2.5 billion "Green City, Clean Waters" program, which revolutionized how cities approach land and water management for sustainability and resiliency.

“I love the idea of being able to use water as a connector to public health and clean environments,” says Neukrug. “The good news is everything is feasible. At the end of this, we can solve water problems.”

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