updates from asia & more

By Dean Amhaus, President & CEO

Greetings from Singapore!

Thanks to the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Water Partnership, Stacy Vogel Davis and I are  attending Singapore International Water Week, a global platform to share and co-create innovative water, coastal and flood solutions. This is a great opportunity to connect with water professionals and innovators from all over the world. Perhaps you’re in Singapore right now too – if so, let me know!

We are here with several delegates from Phuket, Thailand, as part of the Water Smart Engagements (WiSE) program, which pairs five Asian cities with U.S. cities, water districts and utilities for collective capacity building and innovative technology familiarization. Last week, we were part of a Milwaukee team that visited Phuket to discuss water issues such as metering, scarcity and water treatment.

People sit around a long table with microphones and a blue screen in the background.

Although it’s supposed to be the rainy season, Phuket is in the midst of a significant drought that further exacerbates the water shortages in the island community. Its economy relies on the tourism industry, which drives up water demand. Over the last four years, the Milwaukee delegation has shared resources and practices with the Phuket delegation, and we have learned from them as well. Check out our blog to learn more about the program.

remembering TWC Board member mike lovell

It was shock to all of us to hear the news of the recent death of Marquette University President and TWC Board Director Michael Lovell. I had the very good fortune to work with Mike from the early days of The Water Council and throughout the growth and development of the organization.

It is not an exaggeration to say that Mike’s fingerprints are imprinted throughout the entire history of The Water Council, from his days at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s College of Engineering to his time leading Marquette University. We are indebted for Mike’s great service over so many years and for being such a steadfast champion and strong ambassador of The Water Council.

A very bright light went dark with Mike Lovell’s passing, but he left a wonderful legacy that will shine on for many years.

NSF Resiliency engine

Work continues at a breakneck pace on our Resiliency Innovation Engine, funded by a Development Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). This month, we submitted our letter of intent to NSF to apply for a Launch Award that would take our Engine to the next level through up to $160 million over 10 years. Our preliminary proposal is due in August, so as you can imagine there is much to do right now!

One important aspect of our Engine is diversity and inclusion. For that reason, we’re hosting a Diversity and Inclusion Workshop on June 24. We want to hear from water and energy leaders about ongoing diversity and inclusion programs in those sectors and ways we can support diversity and inclusion through workforce development, talent pipeline development, and small and medium business participation in Wisconsin and beyond. Contact Dr. Sarah Dobie with questions or to register.

innovation update

Our packed schedule continues next week, when the global participants in our BREW 2.0 Post-Accelerator gather in Milwaukee. These innovators represent water technology startups from Canada, Ireland, France and the U.S. working on topics from hydropower to water conservation to digital water and AI.

You have an opportunity to meet these participants on June 26 at our annual Demo Day, when they will pitch their innovations to a live audience of investors, water corporations and others interested in burgeoning water technology. Afterward, we will hold a reception to celebrate The Water Council’s 15th anniversary. Contact Karen Frost to register.

Speaking of Karen, she’s staying busy as we finish judging for the spring Tech Challenge. The most recent challenge focused on water quality sensors. Our corporate sponsors, A. O. Smith Corporation, Badger Meter and Watts Water Technologies, recently met with the finalists, and we will announce the winner soon.

water stewardship

Our WAVE partner, SCS Global Services, launched a new site-level water stewardship standard complementary to WAVE’s enterprise-wide approach to water. SCS has assisted thousands of companies in showcasing their sustainability initiatives that support Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) reporting, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We are excited about this next step SCS is taking in its water stewardship service.

We are also thrilled to welcome Isaac McCready to our WAVE: Water Stewardship Verified team as a new intern. Issac, a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s School of Freshwater Sciences, brings a fresh perspective and passion for water stewardship, and we are excited for him to contribute to our WAVE program.

The Water Council is also excited to welcome Hattie Bray as our communications and administrative intern. Hattie is a rising senior at Marquette University, where she plays for the Big East-champion volleyball team and is majoring in environmental studies.

new members

This month, we welcome our newest member of The Water Council, Meijer, a Midwest retailer furthering its commitment to Great Lakes stewardship. Welcome to the hub Where Water Works!

Member news & opportunities