“Engaging the University community with regional decision makers, national thought leaders and global water practitioners for the purpose of developing integrated and innovative urban water strategies that address regional and global public health, infrastructure, and the socioeconomic and environmental challenges of long-term urban water sustainability and resilience. ”

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Our vision is to support the future resiliency and sustainability of our cities by fostering innovative and integrative research on urban water policies and practices, the water sciences, management, technology, and ecology.

The Water Center is a business, technology and scientific “Hub for Innovation” for the development of 22nd-century approaches to urban water management and policy. The Center will act as a connector between Penn research faculty and students and the broader water interests of the Philadelphia Mid-Atlantic region and will collaborate, integrate and coordinate its work within the growing global network of water innovators. 

     Our Vision

Our Stakeholders 

Faculty Researchers and Students

Get involved and help us build a brighter future for urban water system resiliency and sustainability across the globe.

Water Practitioners

Influence the next generation of water professionals by sharing your challenges, your priorities and your innvoations and knowledge.

The Water Technology and Consulting Community

Learn how you can support and coordinate with water research at Penn, or become a sponsor!


Whether you are a volunteer from the local civic group or environmental organization, or in leadership at a major NGO, we want to include your perspective and voice  in everything we do.

our Story

Our story begins at the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy, where its Faculty Director, Mark Alan Hughes, first discussed the Energy: Water nexus with Howard Neukrug, PE, the recently retired CEO/Commissioner of Philadelphia Water…

The discussion quickly evolved into the recognition that the water world is often very complex, fragmented, and fought over and that by connecting our water researchers across Penn, we can better leverage our capacity as a great water university in a great water city.  It was also readily apparent that the University of Pennsylvania has the reputation and intellectual capacity to house a water policy and science research center in an environment that is nurturing, safe and trusted among a wide variety of stakeholders and interests.

Penn is now deepening its commitment to these important regional and global water issues by establishing this new, transdisciplinary research center for water policy, science and technology. By leveraging existing efforts across departments, programs, and schools at Penn, and by facilitating a relationship between Penn faculty and water industry and environmental and city leaders, the Water Center at Penn is ready to set new global standards for excellence in research and action to address the biggest challenges facing urban water sustainability.



Our goal is to grow the Water Center at Penn into a preeminent water policy, science and technology institute that engages Penn faculty and students with the broader academic, business and local communities on the global water issues of our time – from drought to flood, from idea to innovation to implementation, from green to grey infrastructure, from policy to technology. 

We will connect regional and national thought leaders to find real world solutions to our shared water challenges and import/export our knowledge and technology globally through the growing network of international water “hubs”.

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