The Wisconsin Department of Commerce on Wednesday announced a $172,000 grant to the Milwaukee Water Council, an industry trade group in southeastern Wisconsin, which will use the money to identify and develop growth strategies for the region’s concentration of water-technology firms.

“Here in southeastern Wisconsin we have developed one of the world’s leading water clusters and this federal grant will help us move forward with these efforts,” Gov. Jim Doyle said in the announcement.

The Water Council grew out of efforts by the Milwaukee 7 economic-development consortium to coax growth out of the area’s water-engineering companies, add water-engineering research programs, and redefine the international image of the region as a hub of water research and technology. The council includes the new Freshwater Sciences School at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

The Water Council’s strategic plan will analyze emerging technologies as well as state, national and international regulations that drive water policy and affect national and global industry activity.

View the full story by theĀ Milwaukee Journal Sentinel