Water is on the agenda

By Dean Amhaus, President & CEO

Can you believe we are almost a quarter of the way through 2023? I think I speak for the entire team at The Water Council when I say it has flown by for us. We are looking forward to spring weather and some exciting initiatives coming down the pike.

In just one week, I’ll join our vice president of water stewardship, Matt Howard, on a trip to New York City for the UN 2023 Water Conference. We have officially submitted a commitment to the UN’s Water Action Agenda. We believe our unique focus on connecting water stewardship and water technology will help industrial water users from across the world both improve their material water risks and make an impact on several sustainable development goals, particularly SDG 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

We have a busy schedule of events during the conference, including a March 24 panel I will sit on about in-property water recycling organized by Hydraloop and the Netherlands Water Partnership as part of New York Water Week.

A few days later, we’ll be off to Chicago for a roundtable event March 28 with the Council of the Great Lakes Region to launch Great Lakes WISE: Water Innovation and Stewardship Exchange. This business-led, peer-to-peer forum will enable participants to learn from each other on best water stewardship practices, effective water sustainability policies, and collective action projects that address regional water challenges and opportunities across key sectors in the Great Lakes.

March started off strong with our first member meeting of the year at InSinkErator. Members enjoyed touring InSinkErator’s “grind lab,” R&D and design areas. Most importantly, we discussed our proposal to the National Science Foundation (NSF) to create a Regional Innovation Engine in Wisconsin focused on water and energy resiliency for manufacturers and utilities. Regardless of NSF’s decision, the idea is gaining momentum with additional partners and supporters.

A group of people photographed from above gather around curved counters and sinks
The March member meeting included a tour of InSinkErator’s headquarters.

Also this month, we released our 2022 Annual Report. It was a groundbreaking year for The Water Council with the launch of our WAVE: Water Stewardship Verified program, continued growth in the second year of BREW 2.0, a new partnership with the U.S. Army Reserve and more.

We believe this is a time of great potential for our hometown of Milwaukee, as I noted in this recent column, and for our work promoting water stewardship and innovation around the world.

water stewardship

Last week we announced another WAVE participant, and it’s an exciting one: Ecolab. Ecolab is a founding Water Champion member of The Water Council and well-known global sustainability leader, so we’re thrilled to have them join our water stewardship program. Visit waveverified.com to learn how WAVE can help your company improve water stewardship performance and reporting.

We are also excited to announce a partnership with Rockwell Automation. Rockwell, headquartered in Milwaukee near the Global Water Center, employs approximately 26,000 problem solvers worldwide, all dedicated to making the world more productive and more sustainable. Rockwell is working with us to promote water stewardship through WAVE and Rockwell’s water-related sustainability products and services. We are proud to be working with a fellow Milwaukee organization on protecting freshwater resources.

Innovation Update

Our innovation programming is ramping up quickly. We recently announced the 10 outstanding companies participating in this year’s BREW 2.0 Post-Accelerator. These companies hail from the U.S., France, Norway, Spain and Slovakia, and their technologies range from Internet of Things sensors to robotic pipeline assessment to PFAS destruction.

The cohort will participate in two weeks of virtual sessions and a week of in-person programming in Milwaukee. I am particularly excited that after two years of virtual presentations because of the pandemic, we will be holding a public Demo Day and curated investor event June 22. We are eager to see how these companies advance through our post-accelerator program and watch their final pitches this summer!

We also recently opened our spring Tech Challenge. This session’s topics, selected by sponsors 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. Application deadline is May 1. Click here to learn more. Please share with your network!

New Members

We welcome new members Culligan International and PolyGone Systems, along with new Water Champion BDPros. I’m so pleased to see our membership steadily growing. Welcome to the hub where water works!

Member news & opportunities

Rockwell Automation’s headquarters in Milwaukee. Photo by Peter Zuzga