growth & renewal in 2024

By Dean Amhaus, President & CEO

As we launch into a new year, it’s an exciting time of growth and renewal for The Water Council.

We continue to build our NSF Resiliency Engine. The deeper we dive into the work, the more I am convinced of how necessary and timely it is. This was reinforced when I read “Resilience in focus at Davos,” a McKinsey & Company piece about how resiliency is front and center at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum.

We also are growing our WAVE program both in participation and programming. We recently closed the 2024 application period for our BREW 2.0 Post-Accelerator, with nearly 50 applications from water technology startups around the world. Finally, we are making plans for our 2024 summit, with some major changes in store that I’m excited to tell you about in the coming weeks.

NSF Resiliency Engine

We are running at full steam (pardon the pun) developing our Resiliency Engine, focused on building water and energy resiliency and sustainability for manufacturers and utilities. Our list of partners keeps growing as we examine this topic from all angles, including workforce, investments, banking, insurance and more.

To make our engine as inclusive as possible, we are seeking proposals for a diversity, equity, inclusion and access consultant. Ideal candidates will be based in Wisconsin or Illinois and have experience with economic development and/or federal grants. The proposal deadline is Jan. 22.

Water Stewardship

This month, we announced that Culligan International has joined our WAVE: Water Stewardship Verified program. Culligan has numerous sites worldwide, and WAVE will help the company assess its water risks and opportunities and prioritize sites for water action to have the highest impact.

We continue to see growing interest in WAVE and expect to announce more participants soon. In 2024, we are planning to update and expand the program. Stay tuned for more details.

In 2023, we formed a partnership with Rockwell Automation to promote water stewardship services, including WAVE, and technological solutions. Rockwell just released its 2023 sustainability report, and we’re proud to be prominently included. It’s inspiring to see a fellow Milwaukee organization take such great strides in sustainability.

Two men in business attire stand at podium speaking with microphones.
Mike DeNoma of Rockwell Automation and Dean Amhaus of The Water Council present at WEFTEC 2023.

The Water Council is an Industry Trade Ally for Smart Energy Decisions’ Net Zero Forum Spring. Held Feb. 26-28 in The Woodlands, Texas, the Net Zero Forum is dedicated to helping energy customers source, evaluate and connect with energy suppliers to advance their decarbonization and emissions reduction goals. Through pre-scheduled meetings, knowledge-sharing, topic-focused educational sessions and professional networking activities, #SEDNZF delivers the connections, insights and information needed to accelerate your net zero ambitions.

Members of The Water Council with active or upcoming projects are invited to attend. Apply to participate in 1:1 meetings before the Jan. 26 deadline or take $100 off a General Attendee registration here.

Water stewardship will also be a significant topic during WEX Global in Madrid, Spain, on March 4-6. With the new European reporting standards, WEX Global will devote a half-day event to water and sustainability to help participants understand the complexities of the standards and how they could impact their business. Beverley Ferrara, our European representative, will outline how WAVE provides a great fit as companies address the water portion of the standards.

innovation update

Our innovation programming is starting strong in 2024! Earlier this month, we announced the winners of our fall Tech Challenge. These winners were selected by our corporate sponsors, A. O. Smith Corporation, Badger Meter and Watts Water Technologies, for the top prize of $10,000:

We also recently closed applications for our 2024 Brew 2.0 Post-Accelerator, with nearly 50 applications from around the globe. Now we will begin the task of narrowing down the group with the help of our guest judges, many of whom represent members and partners of The Water Council. We expect to announce the 2024 cohort in March. BREW is sponsored by Beckhoff Automation, Xylem and Thales Water Advisors.

As you can see, the first few weeks of 2024 have been busy. I know they have for many of you, too, considering how many items we have in our Member News & Opportunities section below. Make sure you are following us on LinkedIn, X/Twitter and Facebook for daily news about The Water Council, the water technology industry, water stewardship and our members.

Member News & opportunities

Large icicles hang from a railing, with a view of Lake Michigan  and a lighthouse at sunrise just beyond.
Photo by Peter Zuzga.