The Water Council (TWC) has signed a memorandum of understanding with U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborne) (USACAPOC(A)) to further the country’s capabilities relating to public sanitation, water technology and water talent.

Water insecurity is a growing global problem leading to instability that threatens communities around the world. The U.S. Department of Defense increasingly serves a critical role in tackling core global water issues and in turn helping to improve local or regional human and economic security.

USACAPOC(A) recognizes the complexity of water-related strategic, operational and tactical operations and therefore is partnering with The Water Council, a Milwaukee-based nonprofit dedicated to solving global water challenges, because of its expertise and extensive water network.

Major General Jeffrey Coggin, Commanding General, USACAPOC(A), stated, “Every community USACAPOC(A) engages in is dependent on clean and sustainable water. This partnership with The Water Council will provide a meaningful increase in capabilities to our Civil Affairs teams around the world. We’re grateful for another USACAPOC(A) partnership that incorporates civilian expertise into military planning and operations.”

The Water Council will assist USACAPOC(A) with the recruitment of industry water professionals to serve as Public Water and Sanitation Civil Affairs Officers. These officers will provide technical expertise focused on the control, rehabilitation, or establishment and maintenance of water and sanitation systems for the sustainable collection and distribution of water for human consumption, agriculture and industry.

“As recently noted by Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. needs to be a leader in providing solutions to water scarcity and other global water issues,” said Dean Amhaus, The Water Council President and CEO. “The Water Council is honored to contribute our experience and connections to the effort to secure clean, abundant freshwater for populations around the world in the interests of national security and humanitarianism.”

Albert Cho, Chief Strategy and External Affairs Officer of global water technology company Xylem, recently became the first person recruited by The Water Council to be commissioned in the program.

“It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to serve,” Cho said. “Water and environmental management are fundamental to stable and prosperous communities, and I look forward to doing all I can to help build our country’s ability to advance environmental security around the world.”

The Water Council and its partners will also provide training and research to assist U.S. military personnel in their overall understanding of water-related issues, including military training aids and materials along with workshops and conferences for skills exchange and capacity building. This includes an annual or biennial, multi-day conference hosted by The Water Council for the purposes of networking and training.

The agreement includes collaboration with TWC member universities, including the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) and Marquette University, to provide graduate and post-graduate level research to further the understanding of water-related challenges around the world.

“We’re excited that, through this partnership, our faculty will be able to provide resources and training to U.S. Army officers deployed to areas where they must be prepared to obtain safe drinking water or to manage wastewater or potential contaminants,” said Rebecca Klaper, PhD, Vice Dean of UWM School of Freshwater Sciences.

Initial funding for the collaboration has come from the state of Wisconsin through a special appropriation to the University of Wisconsin System and The Water Council.

“Wisconsin is increasingly recognized as a leader in freshwater innovation across the country and around the world,” Amhaus said. “We look forward to growing this partnership and our work solving global water challenges.”

Man in suit is sworn in by Army officer in uniform with American flag in background
Albert Cho of Xylem is sworn in as a major in the U.S. Army Reserve as part of a new unit to help strengthen global water security.

About The Water Council:
The Water Council (TWC) is a global hub dedicated to solving critical water challenges by driving innovation in freshwater technology and advancing water stewardship. Built on more than a century of innovation, TWC has coalesced one of the most concentrated and mature water technology clusters in the world from its headquarters at the Global Water Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. Recognizing the need for smarter and more sustainable use of water worldwide, TWC also promotes water stewardship as a natural complement to water innovation in the effort to preserve freshwater resources in the Midwest and around the world. Today, The Water Council has established itself as a global leader in the water industry and one of America’s premier economic development clusters as recognized by government agencies, Brookings and the Harvard Business School.

About U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborne)
U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborne) (
USACAPOC(A)) is part of the Department of Defense and supports the Army and Joint Force with trained and ready Civil Affairs, Military Information Support, and Information Operations capabilities across the range of military operations. The U.S. Army, USACAPOC(A) and subordinate units are required by FM 3-57, the Civil Affairs Operations Field Manual, to have 38G6G – Public Water and Sanitation Civil Affairs Officers that advise and assist on, or reestablish and direct the analysis, assessment, evaluation, planning, and implementation of systems from the national level down for the access to water resources and the impact on public health, agri-business, general industry, and stability. They provide technical expertise focused on the control, rehabilitation, or establishment and maintenance of water and sanitation systems and agencies for the sustainable collection and distribution of water for human consumption, agricultural irrigation, and utilization by industry. They also provide technical expertise for reinforcing the collection and treatment of solid waste and wastewater and for maintaining flood control and drainage systems.

About the UW-Milwaukee School of Freshwater Sciences
UWM’s School of Freshwater Sciences is dedicated to improving our health, economy and quality of life by providing the talent, tools and techniques to understand and manage our most precious natural resource – water. Located on the Milwaukee Harbor, the school is the largest water-focused academic research institution on the Great Lakes and has the only research vessel operating year-round on Lake Michigan. Its scientists and students advance understanding of the largest freshwater system on Earth, as well as urban rivers, storm and wastewater infrastructure, groundwater and inland lakes, aquaculture and fisheries, water robotics, and human and environmental health. The school pairs a rigorous, science-based curriculum with hands-on field work, applied research experiences, and community engagement.