hitting the accelerator on water & energy

By Dean Amhaus, President & CEO

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since The Water Council and our partners were awarded $1 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop a regional innovation engine focused on water and energy resiliency for manufacturers and utilities.

The time has flown by as we grow and refine our engine. And it’s about to start moving even faster, as preliminary proposals are due to NSF in August. I’m extremely proud of the work our Leadership Team of engine partners is doing and extremely thankful for all their time and effort to develop our engine. This truly could not be accomplished without them and all our collaborators. Stay tuned in the next few weeks for some big announcements concerning the engine and its future.

We are also staying busy with our innovation and stewardship work, meaning there is no summer slide around here! Read on to learn what we’re up to.

innovation update

You only have until the end of the weekend to enter our spring Tech Challenge. This session, we are looking for water quality sensor solutions. Finalists will present their innovations to our corporate sponsors, A. O. Smith Corporation, Badger Meter and Watts Water Technologies, and compete for up to $10,000. I hear that the response so far has been strong, but we will welcome hearing about your technology.

We just wrapped up several weeks of virtual training for our BREW 2.0 Post-Accelerator cohort. These water tech startups learned new skills related to sales, marketing, go-to-market strategy and more and grew their entrepreneurial network.

Now we’re getting ready for our in-person week, when company leaders will gather in Milwaukee for more training, an investor event and some fun in Brew City. One of the highlights is our annual Demo Day on June 26, when they will pitch their innovations for an audience of potential partners, customers and investors. Afterward, we will celebrate our innovators and The Water Council’s 15th anniversary with a rooftop reception. Click here to register.

As if that’s not enough, our vice president of economic development and innovation, Karen Frost, and our European representative, Beverley Ferrara, are at IFAT, the  “World’s Leading Trade Fair for Water, Sewage, Waste and Raw Materials Management,” in Munich, Germany, this week. I can attest that the size of IFAT is immense with many remarkable companies. Maybe some of you are at IFAT as well. If so, I hope you get a chance to visit with Karen and Beverley as they dash through the halls.

We have even more international travel coming up next month, when we will travel to Phuket, Thailand, as part of our exchange program through the U.S. Water Partnership, followed by Singapore International Water Week. Let us know if you’ll be there!

water stewardship

It seems like our staff is scattered to the wind these days, because our vice president of water stewardship, Matt Howard, recently traveled to Detroit to lead water stewardship training at Suppliers Partnership for the Environment’s quarterly meeting. Suppliers Partnership is an alliance of automakers and their suppliers committed to improving sustainability in the auto sector. We have worked with the group for several years on water stewardship guidance.

Right after that, he went to Tampa, Florida, for an interview with journalist John Holden about water stewardship in the food and beverage industry for the documentary show EARTH. The episode features one of our WAVE: Water Stewardship Verified clients and is scheduled to premiere later this year.

Another industry group we work with is the American Chemistry Council, which just released its annual sustainability report. The report describes how we collaborated with the group on a Water Body Risk Assessment Framework to help members identify and consider potential actions they can take to address and mitigate water-related risks. One of our WAVE partners, accounting firm KPMG U.S., also recently included us in its annual impact plan.

Finally, we hosted a webinar on Earth Day about the importance of corporate water stewardship and how WAVE can help companies get started on their water stewardship journey. The recording is available below for anyone who missed the event. A huge thanks to Patrick Boyle of Samuel, Son & Co. and Lauren Enright of SCS Global Services for joining us on the webinar.

new members

This month, we welcome new member Veralto, a spinoff of the environmental and applied solutions segment of global company Danaher Corporation. Welcome to the hub Where Water Works!

Member news & opportunities