A Flurry of Announcements

By Dean Amhaus, President & CEO

Spring has just begun, but we’re already thinking about fall at The Water Council.

That’s because we just announced a major change to our annual summit. This year, we are excited to partner with the Marquette University College of Business Administration’s S-Lab to launch the Nexus Sustainability Leaders Summit on Oct. 29 and 30 in Milwaukee.

This event combines our annual Water Leaders Summit with Marquette’s Sustainability 2.0 Conference. The 2024 summit will explore sustainability-related topics in the areas of water, energy, finance, diversity and inclusion, and the ESG (environmental, social and governance) reporting movement.

After more than 15 years of hosting the Water Leaders Summit, the time is right to try something new that allows us to examine water topics in the wider context of the sustainability movement. We knew Marquette, a longtime member and supporter of The Water Council, would be a perfect partner with which to combine our resources and create something that’s greater than the sum of its parts.

We gave a lot of thought to the name for this event and settled on Nexus, which invokes the water-energy nexus at the heart of many sustainability issues but also refers to the nexus between profitability and sustainability and between risk mitigation and adaptation. Read our blog to learn more about this new event, and mark your calendars for Oct. 29 and 30.

NSF Resiliency engine

One topic sure to be addressed at the summit is our Resiliency Innovation Engine, focused on water and energy solutions for manufacturers and utilities and funded by a development award from the National Science Foundation. Marquette is a core partner in this effort, which touches on topics from workforce to diversity along with water and energy research and development.

Speaking of diversity, this month we signed a contract with CIS (formerly Corvias Infrastructure Solutions) and Cross Management Services to serve as diversity, equity, inclusion and access (DEIA) consultants on our engine work. CIS is an international leader in public infrastructure solutions and urban resilience programs with a strong focus on inclusion and equity. Cross is a small, minority- and woman-owned business specializing in the development of equity and inclusion programs for projects in the Milwaukee area. Together, they will help us instill a culture of DEIA from the ground up in our engine to make sure everyone benefits from this exciting project, now and in the future.

innovation update

BREW 2.0
Another announcement we made this month was the selection of the 2024 cohort for our BREW 2.0 Post-Accelerator. We received more applications than ever this year, making it tough to narrow the cohort down to 10. These globe-spanning companies are about to enter or recently entered the market with innovations for a wide variety of water challenges:

Mark your calendars now for June 26, when our BREW participants will present their innovations at our annual Demo Day.

Tech Challenge
We also opened our spring Tech Challenge this month. Water technology innovators from anywhere in the world are invited to apply through May 19. Participants compete to win up to $10,000 but also the opportunity to meet with the research and development teams from corporate sponsors A. O. Smith Corporation, Badger Meter and Watts Water Technologies.
This session’s topics focus on:

water stewardship

Whether because of the California and EU climate regulations or the recent SEC climate disclosure announcement, more and more companies and organizations are realizing the importance of taking credible water stewardship action as part of a sustainability or ESG (environmental, social and governance) plan. Learn how our WAVE: Water Stewardship Verified program can help you create a plan and become independently verified at our free April 22 webinar.

The event will include speakers from Samuel, Son & Co., the largest family-owned processor and distributor of metal products and solutions with more than 80 sites in North America, and SCS Global Services, WAVE’s independent verification body. Please share with anyone who might be interested in our program!

If you’re connected to the sports world, you might be interested in a webinar we’re participating in on March 21 through the Green Sports Alliance called All Sports Are Water Sports. Also represented are the US Water Alliance, Stantec, Sloan and Xylem.

These webinars come on the heels of a busy time for our water stewardship team that included appearances at WEX Global in Madrid, Spain, and Smart Energy Decisions’ Net Zero Forum in Houston, Texas.

Beverley Ferrara (right), The Water Council’s European representative, co-hosts WEX Global’s Sustainability Forum.

New Members

This month we welcome the 2024 BREW cohort as new members. Participation includes one year of complimentary membership in The Water Council. Many past participants appreciate the benefits of membership and continue with us even after their complimentary year is up. We also welcome Tikal Industries Inc. of Chicago.

As you can see, we are staying very busy, and members get insider access to many of our activities. Contact Laura Mullen to inquire about membership if you haven’t already.

member news & Opportunities

Skyscrapers face Lake Michigan at sunrise.
Photo courtesy of Visit Milwaukee