How are you and your business “Rethinking Water?” The Water Council asked this question to a full room of 260 global water industry leaders from 22 states and 7 countries for the 12th Annual Water Leaders Summit in Milwaukee, the Freshwater Capital of the World, at the Harley-Davidson Museum®.

At capacity, attendees kicked things off early on Day One of the Summit by participating in the Tour of the World Water Hub. In 2019 we offered behind-the-scenes tours of Badger Meter’s Customer Experience Center and A. O. Smith Corporation’s newly opened Corporate Technology Center.

Author and Fast Company contributor Charles Fishman joined us for the fourth year to set the tone of the Summit with a staggering calculation of the hidden water we may not think about.

An all-star line-up of seasoned water industry leaders created a thought provoking atmosphere with discussions centered around rethinking our approach to water in the areas of Water Use, Corporate Governance, Business and Investing. Rounding out the sessions were one-on-one conversations with William Sarni, Founder and CEO of Water Foundry, LLC and Eleanor Allen, CEO of Water for People.

The third ‘Water Warrior of the Year Award’ was presented to Kevin Shafer, Executive Director of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) for his support of furthering STEAM education. Every summer, MMSD hires 25 students to provide them with hands-on experience within water quality protection, laboratory services, engineering construction and sustainability. Many students apply for consecutive summer internships and in some cases are hired on as permanent MMSD employees.

The sixth round of the BREW Accelerator program concluded with this year’s cohort pitching their innovative water technologies on Day Two, showcasing their progress and next steps to attendees. The day prior to the Summit, BREW 6 winners pitched their ideas at the first official BREW Demo Day on June 25 at the Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons in Downtown Milwaukee.

An exclusive announcement by Raj Shukla, Executive Director of River Alliance of Wisconsin, and Matt Howard, Director, Alliance for Water Stewardship North America, concluded the Summit. The groundbreaking Clear Water Farms Program will implement the water stewardship standard at two farms in Wisconsin, with the ultimate goal of establishing a model to use across North America at any farming operation. Both Raj and Matt spoke on the joint initiative to address the economic challenges of farming and the negative impacts on water due to the intensifying agricultural practices.

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