By Dean Amhaus, President & CEO
We always strive to find topics for our annual Water Leaders Summit that reflect the latest news, ideas and controversies in water, and it seems this year we have been particularly successful in putting our finger on some timely and important subjects.
I was reminded of that when I saw a Washington Post article this week about St. George, Utah. The city in Utah’s driest and hottest area is expected to double in population by 2050, and that has some people worried about how the city will supply enough water to meet demand.
We are on top of this topic as we plan for our Oct. 5 and 6 summit in Milwaukee. Our panel on economic growth vs. water scarcity will feature Kathryn Sorensen, director of research at Arizona State University’s Kyl Center for Water Policy and former director of Phoenix Water Services, and James Eklund, Denver water attorney and former director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board. Their perspectives might surprise you, and I guarantee it will be a fascinating discussion.
The summit will also feature such up-to-the-minute topics as water as a national security priority (a subject getting more attention in the U.S. and globally), who should take responsibility for PFAS contamination, and how companies can mitigate water risk in their operations and supply chains.
We are especially pleased that so far, the summit has attracted participants from Thailand, France and Canada. Register today to make sure you catch all the discussions.
Corporate water stewardship has become a major focus at The Water Council. Our Water Leaders Summit is a great place to learn more, but you can also find an introduction through our upcoming webinar with the Council of the Great Lakes Region, “Advancing Water Stewardship in the Great Lakes.” This free event is happening Aug. 25.
As you know, this year we launched WAVE: Water Stewardship Verified for companies looking to improve water stewardship strategy, performance and reporting across the enterprise. We are proud to announce that Watts Water Technologies recently became WAVE verified. This indicates the company has assessed water-related risk across the enterprise, identified the highest water-related impacts using credible water-related data and implemented best practice in improving water stewardship performance. Watts piloted the program that eventually became WAVE in 2021 and voluntarily underwent WAVE verification through our independent third-party partner, SCS Global Services. Completion of the verification enables Watts to utilize the WAVE seal in its public reporting. Congrats, Watts!
Our innovation team is busy in planning mode for what is sure to be a busy fall. We will open our next round of Tech Challenge in September and start soliciting the next start-ups for our BREW 2.0 Post-Accelerator a few weeks after that.
A few days after the Water Leaders Summit, we leave for WEFTEC, the largest annual gathering of water professionals. This year’s event happens Oct. 8-12 in New Orleans. The Wisconsin water sector, represented by The Water Council and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, is again sponsoring the Global Center Stage, and The Water Council will present at several sessions.
One success story we are eager to discuss at WEFTEC is Water Warriors. The Kentucky company has created phosphorous-absorbing water treatment pellets and participated in our BREW 2.0 and Pilot Program. We introduced Water Warriors to Australian company Phoslock Environmental Technologies, one of our overseas members. Now Water Warriors has entered into an exclusive agreement with Phoslock for the distribution of its pellets worldwide. This partnership is beneficial for both companies and is just one more example of how we convene, connect and showcase our members.
Speaking of members, our membership rolls continue to grow. This month we welcome Ferguson, a residential and commercial building product distributor, as our newest Water Champion. Water Champions are companies that aren’t part of the water technology sector but want to support our mission to drive freshwater innovation and advance water stewardship.
If you’re not a member yet, talk to our member engagement manager, Laura Mullen, about how membership can benefit you.
Finally, I’d like to highlight the space available at our headquarters building, the Global Water Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We have a variety of co-working spaces available, from single desks to furnished offices with space for up to six people. Check out this brochure to learn more about the available spaces and included amenities. Looking for something larger? The building also has a variety of suites available. We love working in Walker’s Point, a bustling, vibrant neighborhood just south of downtown Milwaukee. Come join us in the hub where water works.