Urban Water Policies and Practices for a Changing Climate

Course Number
ENVS 6825 660
Course Code
Course Key
Course Note
MES Environmental Policy Elective
Course Description
Can we successfully adapt our urban water systems to meet the growing challenges of flood, drought, water contamination, heat/fires, extreme weather and sea level rise?  How do we make our cities resilient and our communities sustainable, even in the face of these threats?  When does change begin?  How does it happen?  Our urban water systems and their watersheds are already severely challenged.  We will explore the human right to water and sanitation on a local and a global scale through a review of (1) water policies, practices and law; (2) technology; (3) governance and funding; and (4) land use (think green/blue infrastructure and “nature-based” solutions).  Among many the many topics to be examined, we will study (1) how leadership, technology and politics were essential to achieving change through an analysis of Philadelphia’s Green City Clean Waters program; (2) how we make potable water from wastewater palatable to the public, (3) how to manage PFAS in the environment, the drinking water, the land disposal of biosolids, and in communicating its risk to the public; and (4) make ESG, GHG emissions, energy independence and 100% water recycling/reuse integral to the water industry culture and operations.
Subject Area Vocab