March Update: Solving global water challenges *Together*

By Dean Amhaus, President & CEO

We work hard to fulfill our mission to solve critical water challenges by driving freshwater innovation and advancing water stewardship. But we don’t work alone. This month, I’m struck by how many of our activities involve critical partnerships.

On Feb. 22, we announced a collaboration with Suppliers Partnership for the Environment (SP) to improve water stewardship outcomes across the sector. SP is a forum for global automotive manufacturers and their suppliers to work together toward a shared vision of an automotive industry with positive environmental impact.

A couple weeks later, we announced a commitment with the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WMEP) and Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council (WSBC) to improve corporate water stewardship outcomes in Wisconsin. Both partnerships will make businesses more aware of the vital importance of water stewardship and steps they can take to begin their water stewardship journeys.

Collaboration is also critical in our innovation and technology work. Earlier this month, we took a trip to the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) wastewater treatment plant in Oak Creek, Wis., to see a demonstration of Tomorrow Water’s Proteus technology.

We learned about Tomorrow Water, the U.S. subsidiary of Korean company BKT, through a SelectUSA roundtable on South Korea that we participated in with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. Tomorrow Water then applied and was selected for our Pilot Program, which helps companies set up demonstrations of new technologies in Wisconsin with the help of partners such as MMSD. Read our blog to learn more about Tomorrow Water and its potentially groundbreaking wastewater treatment technology.

Group of people in hard hats standing in warehouse

Take the Tech Challenge
Now it’s your turn to be a collaborator. This week we are launching our latest Tech Challenge, seeking innovative solutions to the water industry’s pressing problems. Please spread the word to your network. Participants in the Tech Challenge have the chance to win up to $10,000 and, more importantly, connect with the R&D teams of leading water tech companies. This round’s challenge topics, chosen by our sponsors – A. O. Smith Corporation, Badger Meter, Watts Water Technologies and Xylem – are:

Click here to learn more.

Calling All Students
The Tech Challenge is open to anyone with a valid solution, including students, researchers, start-ups and established businesses. But we also have an opportunity just for students currently enrolled in a Wisconsin post-secondary education program. Our Future Water Leaders Student Pilot Program is seeking applications for student-led, water-focused demonstration projects that could be ready for an in-ground pilot demonstration in 2022. Selected projects will be eligible for $3,000-$5,000 in funding. Application deadline is April 3. Please share this information with the students in your sphere and direct them to our website.

Speaking of student opportunities, we are also accepting applications for a graduate water stewardship internship. Ideal applicants are graduate students studying business or science with an interest in sustainability or water to assist in the business development of clients for our water stewardship offerings. Wisconsin-based interns are preferred, but consideration will be given to qualified candidates throughout North America.

Join The WAVE
On March 21, the day before World Water Day, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission will announce its proposed rules related to mandatory climate change disclosures. This is a very significant development for public companies, but the pressure to report on tangible environmental progress will also trickle down to private businesses. Is your company ready for these new rules? I suggest exploring WAVE – Water Stewardship Verified to implement a water stewardship program for your enterprise that can be independently verified by SCS Global Services.

In the News
The Water Council has found itself in the news often so far this year for the collaborations I mention above and the launch of our WAVE program. We’ve also authored several columns in prominent publications about the importance of water stewardship. Check out some of our work from recent weeks:

We are also excited to be part of a special section on water stewardship that will appear in the April-May issue of Forbes Magazine. As you can see, the word is spreading about our water stewardship services, particularly WAVE.

Finally, I’d like to welcome a new member to The Water Council: WaterClick, a provider of digital platforms for water and wastewater utilities. Welcome to the hub Where Water Works.

Whew, all that in just the last month!

Member News & Opportunities

Milwaukee skyline at sunset, Wisconsin, USA