“Southeastern Wisconsin has become an ecosystem where businesses, universities and other groups can come to collectively solve global water challenges. And Milwaukee has created an environment for similar companies, like Zurn, to access world-class talent, innovation and technology development.” – Craig Wehr, President, Zurn Industries, 2017 – Read about Zurn’s decision to relocate to Milwaukee.

With over 200 water technology businesses in the region, academic programs and economic development organizations dedicated to the advancement of freshwater technologies, Milwaukee is a textbook case study on the profound impact of a comprehensive cluster development approach. Our region’s unique spirit of collaboration and dedication has created ripple effects in an area referred to as the ‘Milwaukee Water Technology District’ in the Walker’s Point neighborhood. An Economic Investment Analysis was developed to showcase this unique success story of vigorous public-private partnerships.

Why Locate in Milwaukee, WISCONSIN?

In Wisconsin, you’re free to think bigger, encouraged to make your mark, and poised for great things to happen. Check out what makes this state a premier destination for business, career and personal fulfillment.

What is “water technology”?

The Water Council defines water technology as solutions that address water quality and quantity for water users.

What is a “cluster”?

The U.S. Small Business Administration defines clusters as geographic concentrations of organically interconnected small, medium and large businesses, universities, non-governmental organizations, and economic development organizations in a particular field. Cluster activities increase opportunities for these segments to participate and promote innovation, identify research, create jobs and attract capital within a particular industry and generally enhance regional economic growth.

Innovation in Milwaukee is not limited to water technology - it extends to management.

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Facility housing research labs and office space for universities, existing water-related companies and accelerator space for new, emerging water technology companies from around the world. Learn More



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17 acres (6.9 hectares) known as Reed Street Yards in downtown Milwaukee dedicated to mixed-use urban office, educational, research and technology focused on the international water industry. Learn More



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Nation’s first school dedicated to the study of freshwater at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and one of the best water-focused research facilities in the world. Learn More

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Making a paradigm shift from independent water silos to a ‘One Water’ city

Wisconsin has a special mix of people, location, industry, history and values that made Milwaukee and the state places that think about, know about and care about water. It will come as no surprise that Milwaukee has a profound future around water technology because of its rich history that is deeply centered on water. The common thread: we must work together to solve issues confronting water quality and quantity.

From innovative green and blue infrastructure, to community events and education focused on freshwater sustainability, to an award winning sewerage district, Milwaukee believes in collaborating to develop a sustainable water future to achieve world water health. ‘One Water,’ a mindset initiated and led by organizations such as the Water Environment Research Federation and the U.S. Water Alliance, provides a high level way of thinking to progress and unite water across all sectors and stresses that a fervent and constant conversation is needed to share experiences, learnings and opportunities.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has prioritized the City’s water resources, and through their Water Centric City initiative, Milwaukee will showcase leadership in managing natural water resource assets in a sustainable and resilient way. The City is a leading member of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, a binational coalition of over 110 U.S. and Canadian mayors working to advance the protection and restoration of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River. Mayor Barrett also supports the Great Lakes Compact and endorsed the International Water Association’s Water Wise Cities principles.

In 2009, Milwaukee was designated a United Nations Global Compact City “Innovating City,” only one of 5 such cities worldwide. The Cities Programme focuses on connecting all stages of government, business and civil society to enhance sustainability, resilience, diversity and adaptation within cities and in the face of complex urban challenges.

How can you become a Water Centric City?

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