Water is dynamic. It takes on many forms: from raindrops to oceans, from snowflakes to steam. We drink it, swim in it, sail upon it; we use it to produce and transport goods, generate energy, and so much more. Water makes up most of our bodies and our planet’s surface area. It is key to life on earth.   

Despite all the shapes and names, there is only one water cycle. No matter how it appears, water in all its forms is a single, connected resource, from the ice caps to the equator. It will take all of us to make sure water in our region is clean, healthy, and accessible to all.  

One Water: Pittsburgh’s Guide to Action 

One Water: Pittsburgh’s Guide to Action  is a crash course on how water works in our urban environment. It explains the major challenges to healthy water systems and real opportunities for improvement. 

Support for this initiative was provided in part by a grant from the Pisces Foundation, which seeks ways to accelerate to a world where people and nature thrive together. This project has also been generously supported by The JPB Foundation through the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities, an administrative partner in issuing and managing this grant. 



The organizations and agencies working on water have suggestions for working on your property and improving water. Check them out here 


Meadow Street Microshed Concept Plan -- Every neighborhood contains multiple “microsheds,” where all water flows to one drainage point, and then into the larger system. Larimer residents worked together with local hydrologists, engineers, and landscape architects to develop a replicable concept for how a neighborhood-level system could work in the vicinity of Meadow Street. 

One Water Trail: A Concept Plan for Highland Park   

Highland Park is full of water resources: hillside seeps and springs, a constructed stream and lake, a fountain, a swimming pool, two reservoirs, a treatment plant, views of the Allegheny River, and more. Residents, stakeholders, and design professionals worked together to develop a concept for a “One Water Trail” that can link, expose, and express these resources in creative ways.  

 A Vision Plan for the Mouth of Negley Run 

Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) is working with the Army Corps of Engineers to design a system to convey stormwater more safely along Washington Boulevard to the Allegheny River. To inspire a holistic treatment of the lower stream valley and Highland Park, community members and professionals developed a concept plan. It presents a solution for flooding and  sewage overflow while advancing park goals to enhance natural habitat, provide rewarding recreational experiences, and improve connections for pedestrians and cyclists. 


Schenley Park's water system is being restored with different kinds of green infrastructure; a map of how these methods work is here. Knowing how projects function is important, so the University of Pittsburgh is monitoring effectiveness at certain locations – see them here 


Green Infrastructure improves the health of water in Pittsburgh. Click here to learn more.  

Reducing pollution requires City code and ordinance updates as well as a stormwater utility. Hear more about this from PWSA and City of Pittsburgh staff who are managing the work.


Allegheny County Conservation District has stream and stormwater webinars every week. Register here. 

Biohabitats is a national firm and leader in ecological restoration, tune into their Wednesdays at the Watering Hole Webinars.