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It's Not Thursday. It's World Water Day.

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Today is World Water Day! Now what are we going to do? Here are a few ideas: Start here, and read about this year's theme: The world is thirsty because we are hungry. Water drives the food chain and is the key to our food security—read these FAQs. Play this drag-and-drop food game to see how much water it takes to produce the food on your plate. Watch these animated videos on water reuse and the water cycle. Spread the word by liking World Water Day's Facebook page.

See South Philly Soak It Up

On March 8, our second Soak It Up! event took place at 16th and Jackson streets in South Philly. Neighbors joined city officials and PWD employees to celebrate the stormwater tree trenches that absorb runoff and make 16th Street a green street. Above, children from the neighborhood plant flowers around the trees.

PWD commissioner Howard Neukrug, Newbold Civic Association's Naomi Geschwind and Councilman Kenyatta Johnson after the ribbon-cutting.

These kids are both expert gardeners and professional chalk artists.

Another PWD-sponsored yarn bombing by ishknits

Most Sustainable In Show: PWD Flower Show Display Wins Sustainability Award

The 2012 International Flower Show, which wrapped up last week, aimed to take visitors on a trip to Hawaii. The Philadelphia Water Department's display, however, kept it right here in Philly, demonstrating how green roofs, rain gardens and other green infrastructure can beautify our city while managing stormwater runoff that pollutes our rivers and streams. Scale models of some of Philly's most famous buildings show how green the city could be, earning the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society's Sustainability Award for the exhibit demonstrating the best use of sustainable gardening practices to the public.

Visit PWD's Facebook page to see more photos.


Premier Philly Pup Poll Presently Popular Among Participants

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The online polls for the Philly Water's Best Friend Competition opened a week ago today, and voter turnout so far has been incredible—more than 1,000 votes have already been cast online for the "canine-didates" in Queen Village and Northern Liberties. A Jack Russell from Northern Liberties, Penny, even has a Facebook page for her campaign! We suspect some of the other dogs have Super PACs (or just a very loyal base).

Vote for your favorite dog in Queen Village and Northern Liberties until May 30, and remember to pick up pet waste to keep our rivers and streams clean.

Tomorrow: Soak It Up, South Philly!

Join us tomorrow, Thursday March 8 at 4:30 p.m. at 16th and Jackson streets in South Philly for our second Soak It Up, Philly! event. The Philadelphia Water Department is celebrating its green stormwater infrastructure projects that absorb rain water and allow it to infiltrate into the ground instead of burdening our sewer system and polluting our rivers and streams. There will be free refreshments, art activities for all ages, flower bulb plantings and more. This event is rain or shine. Will it be almost 70 degrees tomorrow? Probably! Will there be a giant pair of scissors? We think so!

Thank You For Soaking (It Up)

Yesterday's inaugural Soak It Up, Philly! event took place in New Kensington, where the Philadelphia Water Department showed off the Green Streets that are helping to improve the health of Philly's rivers and streams. Residents of all ages joined city officials and PWD staff to tour the green infrastructure at and around the Shissler Recreation Center that infiltrates stormwater runoff. There were snacks! There was a pair of giant scissors! Photo highlights below—the next Soak It Up, Philly! event is on March 8 at 16th and Jackson streets in South Philly.

From left: Parks and Recreation commissioner Michael DiBerardinis, PWD commissioner Howard Neukrug, New Kensington CDC's Sandy Salzman and MOTU's Andrew Stober kick off the celebration.

PWD-sponsored yarnbombing of a stormwater tree trench tree

The artists from ishknits responsible for said yarnbombing

Kids planted daffodils around the trees and were shown a model that demonstrates how a stormwater planter absorbs runoff.

Green projects were decorated with chalk drawings of Indian, Japanese and Egyptian water symbols.

Tomorrow: Soak It Up, Kensington

Join us tomorrow, Thursday March 1 in front of the Shissler Recreation Center at 4:30 for the premiere Soak It Up, Philly! event. Soak It Up Thursdays—happening throughout the city during March and April—are celebrations of the Philadelphia Water Department's efforts to reduce pollution entering our creeks and rivers by greening our city and beautifying our neighborhoods. It's all part of the 25-year Green City, Clean Waters plan to install green infrastructure that absorbs stormwater runoff. Come on out for free refreshments and a tour of the Big Green Block, a project that includes improvements and green infrastructure installation at the Shissler Rec Center and surrounding streets (Blair Street is pictured above). After the jump, some Soak It Up, Philly! facts:

March 7: Sixers Night Fundraiser for Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center

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Join us at the March 7 Sixers vs. Celtics game and you'll also be supporting science programming at the Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center. Go to the Eventbrite page to purchase tickets ($45 for lower level seats; $35 for upper level) and a portion of each ticket price will go toward supporting Saturday Science programming at the Interpretive Center. Everyone who pruchases a ticket will also be entered to win a $25 gift card to the Cheesecake Factory. Come out and cheer for the Sixers (or the Celtics, if you must), but get your tickets now.

Life, Death and Rebirth of the Schuylkill River

In the 19th century, Philadelphia made a valiant—albeit futile—attempt to implement land management practices to protect its drinking water quality. Join us on Thursday, February 16  from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center for a discussion of the historical and environmental issues facing the Schuylkill River and Philadelphia's water supply. Ed Grusheski, retired Philadelphia Water Department employee, will share his knowledge and insights about the river that flows outside (and sometimes inside) the Interpretive Center.

Channel Discovery: Philly's Hidden And Forgotten Waterways

Mill Creek Sewer between 47th and Haverford

As you walk on many of Philadelphia's sidewalks, beneath your feet is a hidden world of streams that once crisscrossed the city. Join PWD historian Adam Levine on Thursday, Feb. 16 from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. at the Temple Gallery at the Tyler School of Art for a fascinating illustrated lecture including rare artwork and artifacts that uncover part of Philadelphia's history few people ever think about—the drastic changes made in the city's landscape since its founding in 1682.

Levine has been digging into the history of the city's sewers and drainage systems since 1998, and his talk will focus on the systematic obliteration of hundreds of miles of surface streams. Buried deep underground in pipes as large as 20 feet in diameter, these former streams became main drainage arteries in the city's 3,000-mile sewer system. These massive alterations to the landscape have had environmental repercussions that are still being felt today. This lecture is guaranteed to reveal a side of Philadelphia you have never seen and change the way you think about our sprawling urban environment.

This event is free, but you must register to reserve your seat.

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