Now’s the time

By Dean Amhaus, President & CEO

In the last month, I have been struck by what seems like a flood of major water news that have impacted locations across the U.S. This includes the massive sudden deluge of water in places like California and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to the long-term shortages of water along the Colorado River and the resulting efforts to find equitable solutions for millions of people and businesses.

Of course, it makes me think about how fortunate I am to reside in Wisconsin as well as the work of The Water Council at the intersection of innovation and water stewardship.

With the arrival of April, we welcome the first virtual training sessions for our 2023 BREW 2.0 cohort and announce an exciting partnership with one of Milwaukee’s legacy global corporations.

I’ll start my recap with one of the biggest water events in recent memory, the United Nations Water Conference. I was there with our vice president of water stewardship, Matt Howard. It was wonderful to see so many old colleagues among the attendees and discover new friends. Matt wrote some insightful reflections of the event on LinkedIn that I’ll summarize here:

I’ll leave you with his call to action: “Now’s the time people. We know the ‘what’; we have some ‘hows’; ‘when’ is now.”

Dean spoke at a Hydraloop event at the UN Water Conference.

a packed calendar

New York City was just one of our stops as our staff toured the globe in recent weeks. On March 28, we held the first roundtable in Chicago for Great Lakes WISE (Water Innovation & Stewardship Exchange). We have created this peer-to-peer forum in collaboration with the Council of the Great Lakes Region for Great Lakes businesses that are interested in water stewardship. Read our blog to learn more about the initiative and this first meeting.

And that’s not all! Karen Frost, our vice president of economic development and innovation, visited Washington, D.C., for the Xylem Innovation Labs Symposium. Beverley Ferrara, our European representative, went to Seville, Spain, for WEX (Water & Energy Exchange) Global. And Matt hopped on a plane once again this week to speak to the American Chemistry Council in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Karen Frost participated in the Xylem Innovation Labs Summit.

innovation update

Our spring Tech Challenge remains open until May 1. This session’s topics, chosen by A. O. Smith Corporation, Badger Meter and Watts Water Technologies, are:

Participants compete for a prize of up to $10,000 and the chance to present their innovations to the R&D teams of our sponsors. Click here to learn more.

We will host our first week of programming for this year’s BREW 2.0 Post-Accelerator cohort next week. These late-stage water technology companies will receive tailored training in sales, marketing, pitch refinement, startup culture and more. The accelerator culminates with a week of in-person training in Milwaukee, including our annual Pitch Day happening June 22. Mark your calendars now for this in-person and virtual event to learn about the newest crop of water technology entrepreneurs.

We know BREW 2.0 is successful because we continue to see previous participants excel. Here are some recent news items from BREW 2.0 graduates:

water stewardship

We gave you the inside scoop last month, but this week we officially announced our novel partnership with Rockwell Automation to promote corporate water stewardship around the world. As Tom O’Reilly, global vice president of sustainability for Rockwell Automation, states, “With The Water Council’s WAVE program and Rockwell Automation solutions, we are dedicated to driving impact within organizations to improve their water stewardship through consultation, data driven insights and digital transformation solutions.”

Tom O’Reilly, global vice president of sustainability at Rockwell Automation, and Dean Amhaus sign a memorandum of understanding.

Our water stewardship work remains active as we have signed on more organizations to WAVE that we will announce soon. Be sure to follow The Water Council on LinkedIn and Twitter to get the latest developments. What is especially exciting is that we are actively pursuing some organizations that you don’t necessarily equate to water, but they recognize that they also play a major part in protecting this precious resource. Just as every drop counts, so does every business play a role.

We also continue to be looked to as a water stewardship leader nationwide. For example, this article in Barron’s about the Colorado River water crisis quotes Matt Howard among several other water experts.

As you may know, The Water Council was founded in Milwaukee because of Milwaukee’s history of water innovation and stewardship. Milwaukee is a global leader in stewardship of the freshwater resources running through and around our city. Check out this article by our communications director, Stacy Vogel Davis, that describes how Milwaukee became a stewardship leader and describes upcoming work that will mark the largest cleanup project in Great Lakes history.

new members

We welcome many new members this month, including the new BREW 2.0 cohort and a couple of Water Champions:

Welcome to the hub where water works!

Member news & Opportunities

Photo courtesy of Visit Milwaukee.