By Dean Amhaus, President & CEO
Our Water Leaders Summit is only two weeks away! We’ve put together a dynamite slate of discussions for the Oct. 5 and 6 event centered on today’s biggest water headlines, including water scarcity in the West, water’s role in national security, corporate water stewardship and PFAS remediation.
Today I’m pleased to announce we will kick off the summit with a special recorded conversation with Jaclyn Porfilio, senior policy advisor to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. Porfilio will discuss the intersection of climate, commerce and data. For example, the White House recently announced a new interactive portal that will help communities — and businesses — predict how climate change will affect them. Porfilio will also discuss the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed earlier this year and its role in building a “climate-ready” economy, particularly in regards to water.
Time is getting short, so register today! We are grateful to A. O. Smith Corporation, Badger Meter, Baird, Watts Water Technologies and all our event sponsors.
We have dived right into our fall innovation programming with loads of opportunities for water technology innovators. Our fall Tech Challenge is now open and the sponsors are seeking solutions in the categories of contactless water quality sensors and in-situ water hardness monitoring. Applicants compete for the chance to win up to $10,000 in prize money and, more importantly, the chance to directly present their innovations to the R&D teams of our corporate sponsors – A. O. Smith Corporation, Badger Meter and Watts Water Technologies. Application deadline is Nov. 6. Click here to learn more.
We also recently opened applications for the next round of our Future Water Leaders Fund Student Pilot Project. This program, a collaboration of The Water Council, the Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Freshwater Sciences and the Fund for Lake Michigan, awards $3,000-$7,500 to help students launch water-focused pilot demonstration projects. Students must be currently enrolled in Wisconsin public or private universities in an undergraduate, graduate or two-year academic program. Application deadline is Nov. 1.
Finally, we are partnering with the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) in a request for information from European-based engineering firms with experience in climate resiliency and adaptation. MMSD, long respected for its innovation in wastewater, is looking to grow its network of potential vendors to help attain its energy efficiency and climate mitigation goals. Watch the video below or click here to learn more.
We will discuss these opportunities and more next month when we visit WEFTEC in New Orleans Oct. 10-12. The Water Council and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation are again hosting the Global Center Stage on behalf of the state of Wisconsin. Click here to learn more about our WEFTEC presentations and events.
For the past several months, The Water Council has been working with the Suppliers Partnership for the Environment (SP), an association of global automakers and their suppliers working together to advance environmental sustainability through the automotive supply chain. Together we tested the design of a sector-wide water stewardship program centered on an action plan to help member organizations and their suppliers accelerate water stewardship performance.
This month, SP published the guidance document that came out of the project, intended as a first step in helping automotive companies build comprehensive water stewardship programs. You can learn more at an SP webinar happening Oct. 4. We will also host Mark Yamauchi, sustainability strategy manager for Toyota Motor North America, on a water stewardship panel at our Water Leaders Summit.
If you’re looking for more in-depth information, sign up for our next Comprehensive Water Stewardship Training happening Dec. 7-9. This training is held in conjunction with Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership but is open to anyone in any location or industry. Members of The Water Council and Water Champions receive 25% off registration.
Lastly, I am particularly excited about the fact that in the next few weeks we will have at least two big announcements about WAVE: Water Stewardship Verified. Increasingly companies are recognizing they are facing material risks with respect to water. This summer’s floods and droughts are driving home the point that companies can no longer sit on the sidelines and instead need a solid water stewardship plan for their entire enterprise.
Meanwhile, we’re checking in with past participants in our innovation programming in a new blog series called “Where Are They Now?” First up is PYDRO, a German startup providing eco-friendly monitoring and sensing solutions to water utilities and distribution networks. PYDRO won our Tech Challenge in spring 2020 and it made a big difference for the company. Read our interview with founder Mulundu Sichone on our blog.
If you have benefited from our programming or know somebody who has, please let us know. We love sharing water technology success stories!
Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District treatment plant at Jones Island. Photo by Peter Zuzga.