The Water Council Announces Joint Funding to Expand Pilot Program, Demonstration Sites

Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, Fund for Lake Michigan contribute joint funding to further water quality in a “One Water” world

MILWAUKEE, WI. Aug. 20, 2015 – The Water Council, along with the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) and Fund for Lake Michigan (FLM), today announce $600,000 in joint funding over two years to advance new clean water technologies.

Launched earlier this year through funding from a Wells Fargo Clean Technology and Innovation grant, the Council’s Pilot Program is designed to help transfer research from the lab to real world pilot project demonstration sites. Not only will this promote local development and implementation of new technologies, it will also spur investment and job growth in Milwaukee’s growing water sector.

In addition to the joint funding, partners will help secure demonstration sites dedicated to the testing of new water technology products.

“Milwaukee is known as a leader in water technology, and this coordinated effort will bolster that reputation,” Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said. “I thank the partners that have come together to fund this project. Their vision is to help convert good ideas into valuable solutions.  At the same time, this adds jobs and value to our economy.”

With a membership that includes over 160 water technology organizations, The Water Council has unique resources to support technologies related to water quality and quantity. The Pilot Program will work with Water Council member companies of all sizes addressing these issues by supporting the progression of new water technologies from the lab to demonstration sites for practical application.

“Technology advancements born and tested here in our backyard can benefit the world, while saving our customers money in the long run,” said Kevin Shafer, executive director of MMSD. “Collaborating on new projects will also help strengthen relationships for Water Council members dedicated to furthering water quality in a ‘One Water’ world.”

“Safeguarding and improving Wisconsin’s abundant clean water resources is a huge challenge that can’t be accomplished by just one group,” said Vicki Elkin, executive director of the Fund for Lake Michigan. “That’s why we’re so excited to partner with The Water Council and MMSD on this demonstration project. It’s a chance to showcase the cutting-edge clean water technologies being developed right here in Milwaukee.”

Headquartered at the Global Water Center, the Fund for Lake Michigan is a private foundation backed by We Energies and two other utilities. The Fund was launched in 2011 to improve water quality in the region.

The Program acts as a catalyst for companies and professionals who are developing new products to make true water quality and quantity impact. Selected projects must address integrated water solutions through innovation, application, and demonstration while maintaining a cost-efficient, scalable, and deployable model.

“The Pilot Program reaffirms an incredibly important area of our mission, to improve world water health,” said Dean Amhaus, president and CEO of The Water Council. “This joint support and funding to help develop and validate new, cutting-edge products, will unleash a new wave of water technology innovation.”

The Pilot Program was announced in January 2015 when Wells Fargo awarded The Water Council with a $100,000 Clean Innovation and Technology grant to fund the launch of the program.

Stonehouse Water Technologies was selected earlier this year as the first participant of the Program for the development of Water POD, a compact water filtration system that solves the problem of a lack of healthy, clean drinking water in underserved and distressed populations. Water POD was launched earlier today and is operating along the Menomonee River.

The official call for applications and instructions for applying for round two of the Pilot Program will be announced later this year.

About The Water Council

The Water Council, the only organization of its kind in the United States, was established in 2009 by Milwaukee-area businesses, education and government leaders. The non-profit organization, consisting of more than 160 members, is linking together global water technology companies, innovative water entrepreneurs, acclaimed academic research programs and, most importantly, some of the nation’s brightest and most energetic water professionals. The Water Council is capturing the attention of the world and transforming the Milwaukee region into a World Water Hub for freshwater research, economic development and education. For more information, visit or contact us by phone at 414.988.8750.