Water Work Keeps Roaring Forward

By Dean Amhaus, President & CEO

Ah, spring is arriving in Milwaukee. While it has been rainy and chilly for us the last few weeks, the grass is turning green and the flowers are appearing. Soon I will be getting my Harley out in the Wisconsin countryside. This renewed energy reminds me of the exciting activities taking place at The Water Council.

I’m especially pleased that we are having more in-person meetings, hosting visitors from across the world, planning our first member meeting in two years and preparing for the return of our Water Leaders Summit in October.

Riding the WAVE
We continue to reach new milestones in our WAVE: Water Stewardship Verified program. Last week we announced our first official WAVE participant, Sloan. I’m so pleased Sloan, a global manufacturer of commercial plumbing systems, will inaugurate this groundbreaking program. Stay tuned for more WAVE announcements soon.

“The WAVE program provides Sloan with an exciting opportunity to lead by example by communicating our corporate water stewardship efforts.” – Patrick Boyle, Sloan director of sustainability

As pressure increases on public and private companies to demonstrate tangible environmental, social and governance (ESG) results, the WAVE provides companies with a powerful water stewardship tool to inform stakeholders of water stewardship risks and actions achieved through an independently verified process.

The media has been paying attention to our efforts. This month we partnered with Forbes for a special section on water stewardship. Our thanks to members A. O. Smith Corporation and Sloan for contributing to the section as examples of strong water stewards.

Here are some other columns, articles and podcasts we’ve appeared in recently:

In other stewardship news, we have created a new water stewardship professional training program that will debut virtually June 15-17. Stay tuned for more information or contact Dylan Waldhuetter.

Innovating Success
Our 2022 innovation programs are also in full swing. We recently announced the latest cohort for BREW 2.0, our post-accelerator for late-stage water technology startups. The group includes 10 companies from a whopping seven countries. This month, the companies will participate in the first of several weeks of intense virtual training. They will participate in a pitch day June 23.

Meanwhile, we are seeking solutions for our spring 2022 Tech Challenge. Participants in the Tech Challenge have the chance to win up to $10,000 and, more importantly, connect with the R&D teams of A. O. Smith Corporation, Badger Meter, Watts Water Technologies and Xylem. This year’s topics are:

Finally, the deadline for our Future Water Leaders Student Pilot Program has been extended to April 24. Students currently enrolled in a Wisconsin post-secondary education program can receive $3,000 to $5,000 for student-led, water-focused demonstration projects. We thank our fellow funders Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin and the Fund for Lake Michigan for their support. Please share this opportunity with students in your network.

Unifying Innovation & Stewardship
Around here we like to say innovation and stewardship are two sides of the same coin when it comes to solving water challenges. That’s the theme of this year’s Water Leaders Summit, our annual event for water thought leaders.

After two years with alternative event formats, we are thrilled to be holding the summit in person this year in Milwaukee on Oct. 5 and 6. Visit our website to learn how you can support this event and increase your exposure in the water sector.

Welcoming Visitors
As in-person networking continues to accelerate, we welcomed some key visitors to our headquarters at the Global Water Center in recent weeks. So far this year we have hosted visits from four international companies: Phoslock Environmental Technologies of Australia, Hydraloop of the Netherlands, Aquamonitrix of Ireland and APX10 of Denmark.

During these visits, we tailored meetings with relevant member companies, start-ups and utilities. These meetings help further economic development in the water sector and are another tremendous benefit of membership in The Water Council.

Last month, we co-hosted a visit from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development at Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District’s (MMSD’s) South Shore Water Reclamation Facility. Secretary-designee Amy Pechacek met with local water leaders from The Water Council, MMSD, Veolia North America and Badger Meter to talk about the importance of developing the next generation of water talent.

Photo courtesy of Wisconsin Dept. of Workforce Development

The in-person events will continue next month when we co-host “Demystifying Digital for Rural & Suburban Utilities” at the Global Water Center on May 4 with TWC member WaterClick and Mazarine Ventures. Speakers include representatives of the village of Mukwonago and TWC members MentorAPM and Waukesha Water Utility. Click here for more information.

Hello and Good-bye
We are also welcoming lots of new members lately, including several BREW 2.0 participants:

We are happy to announce two new Water Champions, Toyota North America and Nutrien. These companies are supporting our mission to solve global water challenges by driving freshwater innovation and advancing water stewardship.

The Water Council also recently welcomed a new neighbor to the Global Water Center, The Wasmer Company. Click here to learn more.

Finally, I’d like to say good-bye and thank you to two outgoing board members:

There is more that I could share about The Water Council and the connections we are making, but I think that’s enough for now. Besides, the road is calling me to get the engine roaring.

Member News & Opportunities

News: Xylem to move global headquarters to Washington, D.C.
News: Veolia completes its combination with Suez
News: DuPont Water Solutions invests in its OxyMem facility in Ireland. OxyMem is a pervious BREW participant that was acquired by Dupont in 2019.
News: Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin awards $3.4 million to University of Wisconsin System water programs
News: Tomorrow Water partners with Samsung to co-locate data centers on wastewater treatment plants in Korea
News: Evoqua Water Technologies completes acquisition of Frontier Water Systems
News: Micronic Technologies’ water-cleaning technology selected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement
Event: The U.S. Commercial Service is holding a Mexico Infrastructure Conference & Business Forum in Mexico City on June 15-17.
Event: The U.S. Commercial Service will hold Discovery Global Markets: The Blue Economy in Providence, Rhode Island, on Sept. 20-22.