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Academy Town Square: Philly’s Innovative Water Systems: Yesterday and Tomorrow

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

6:30 PM-8:00 PM

Philadelphia has a long history of innovative water resource management starting in the 19th century with the Fairmount Water Works. Today, as cities across the nation grapple with the effects of climate change and aging water pipes, many are looking to Philadelphia’s ambitious plan to use natural systems to reduce the amount of polluted water entering streams through its sewer system.

At this Academy Town Square, StateImpact Pa award-winning energy and environment reporter Susan Phillips moderates a discussion with Debra McCarty, commissioner of the Philadelphia Water Department, and Glen Abrams, senior director of Planning and Sustainable Communities for the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. They’ll outline some of the innovative programs underway, including Green City, Clean Waters and Rain Check, and ideas for the future.

Also, PWD historian Adam Levine will give a fascinating illustrated overview of the many creeks that once flowed through southeastern Pennsylvania. Levine describes himself as “obsessed by the subject of urban sewers, urban watersheds and the unfortunate intersection of the two.” He’ll take us on an inside tour of the massive infrastructure that provides Philly’s drinking water.

This event is free, but registration is requested. Click here to register.

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The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University
1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19103


  • Everyone