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Meghan Jensen (414) 988-8754
AT WHITE HOUSE WATER SUMMIT, MILWAUKEE PLEDGES TO ADVANCE WATER INNOVATION
Nation’s leading water technology cluster heeds the call for water commitments during 1st White House Water Summit
MILWAUKEE, WI, MARCH 22, 2016 – As part of the first White House Water Summit held today in conjunction with the United Nations World Water Day, Milwaukee announced five measurable commitments to help advance water innovation. The Water Council, City of Milwaukee, Alliance for Water Stewardship – North America, and ThinkWater were included in the White House Fact Sheet, highlighting the commitments made today by over 150 organizations from across the United States.
In December 2015, the Administration issued a call-to-action to external institutions from all sectors to take new, specific, and measurable steps to address key water issues, such as drought and flooding; water availability and quality; water-use efficiency; water security; ecosystem requirements; or others, to ensure access to safe and reliable drinking water for future generations.
“It has become increasingly important to develop and implement innovative, long-term strategies to ensure access to freshwater for all Americans, when and where it is needed,” said Dean Amhaus, president and CEO of The Water Council. “The inclusion of commitments from Milwaukee in the official White House Water Fact Sheet today further showcases the region’s stance as a public steward and proponent for the ongoing development of freshwater solutions.”
The White House Water Summit is meant to raise awareness of water issues in the United States, and to catalyze ideas and action plans to build a sustainable and secure water future through innovative solutions. Dean Amhaus is attending today’s Summit in Washington, DC.
The following commitments were accepted by the Administration for inclusion in the official White House Fact Sheet: Working Together to Build a Sustainable Water Future, which was distributed at today’s White House Water Summit:
- City of Milwaukee
Setting the standard for water-centric cities
The City of Milwaukee announces the International Water Association (IWA) will establish its first North American Regional Office in Milwaukee. The City also announces a new formalized partnership with The Water Council, the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, and Marquette University. Together, these institutions will: Build and/or attract over 75 water-focused entrepreneurs and small businesses to Milwaukee over the next five years; Train up to 400 students annually with water-focused education qualifications through Milwaukee area universities; Implement the Alliance for Water Stewardship International Water Stewardship Standard at 10% of the businesses in the Milwaukee region; Collaborate on practical water research, using the MetroLab framework, to address municipal and global water challenges.
- Alliance for Water Stewardship – North America
Promoting industrial and agricultural water stewardship
The Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS)-North America, a program of The Water Council, will promote corporate water stewardship in the United States through implementation of the AWS International Water Stewardship Standard (AWS Standard) across the U.S. AWS commits to work with 200 large industrial and agricultural water-using sites to implement the AWS Standard. AWS expects this effort to save more than one billion gallons of freshwater over the next decade.
- The Water Council – BREW Accelerator
Commercializing innovative technologies to address global water issues
BREW (Business Research Entrepreneurship in Wisconsin) Accelerator, a water-technology accelerator program of The Water Council, commits to help 75 new water-technology start-ups launch their ideas into successful businesses over the next five years through a mentorship and intensive 6-month, strategic training program. In addition, The Water Council announces an expansion of its BREW Corporate Accelerator, with A. O. Smith Corporation and Rexnord joining Veolia in the program to support start-ups in water technology.
- The Water Council – Small Business Development
Enabling public data access to Federal Labs water and water-related technologies
The Water Council, working with the Innovation Exchange, has launched the Global Water Port, an online research tool which enables access to thousands of real-time water-data sources. The Water Council will partner with the Federal Lab Consortium (FLC) and the U.S. Water Partnership to make data from Federal labs more accessible through the Global Water Port.
Encouraging systems thinking around water
ThinkWater, a national campaign supported by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture and led by University of Wisconsin-Extension and Cabrera Research Lab, helps people think differently, and care more deeply, about water. ThinkWater commits to work over the next two years to build a national coalition of at least six state-based networks to engage water researchers, educators, and extension agents in solving water-related problems through better systems thinking. ThinkWater also announces that this spring it will launch “Systems Thinking Made Simple,” a free, interactive online course designed to introduce systems thinking concepts, tools, and resources to water researchers, educators, extension agents, and citizens across the country.
View a full list of commitments and announcements made today, here. A portion of the White House Water Summit is being live streamed today at https://www.whitehouse.gov/live/white-house-water-summit starting at 9:00AM EDT